The species is named after one of the first sites where its fossils were discovered in the 19th century, about 12 km (7 mi) east of Düsseldorf, Germany, in the Feldhofer Cave, located in the Düssel River's Neander valley.
Neanderthal 1 was known as the "Neanderthal cranium" or "Neanderthal skull" in anthropological literature, and the individual reconstructed on the basis of the skull was occasionally called "the Neanderthal man".
Compared to Homo sapiens, Neanderthals had a lower surface-to-volume ratio, with shorter legs and a bigger body, in conformance with Bergmann's rule, as an energy-loss reduction adaptation to life in a high-latitude (i.e. Male Neanderthals had cranial capacities averaging 1600 cm The Neanderthal genome project published papers in 20 stating that Neanderthals contributed to the DNA of modern humans, including most humans outside sub-Saharan Africa, as well as a few populations in sub-Saharan Africa, through interbreeding, likely between 50,000 and 60,000 years ago.
Recent studies also show that a few Neanderthals began mating with ancestors of modern humans long before the large "out of Africa migration" of present day non-Africans, as early as 100,000 years ago.
The brain volume of fossils from the first propagation wave is however estimated only to be slightly above 1000 ccm.