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Three adaptive hypotheses have been forwarded to explain the distinctive Neanderthal face: (i) an improved ability to accommodate high anterior bite forces, (ii) more effective conditioning of cold and/or dry air, and, (iii) adaptation to facilitate greater ventilatory demands. We test these hypotheses using three-dimensional models of Neanderthals, modern humans, and a close outgroup (H. heidelbergensis), applying finite-element analysis (FEA) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD). This isdoi:10.6084/m9.figshare.5999786.v1 fatcat:d3lyan3dtrbytcibnz4y2l22iy