I've read several versions of this story (for example, here and here), and I'm somewhat baffled as to what the news is. I recall reading in my freshman physical anthropology class (round about 1983 or so) that some Neanderthals had red hair, and while I may be confusing a picture of Celts in a Latin reader I had in high school with that college textbook, I seem to recall that the main book for our anthro class showed some rather fetching Neanderthal babes with red tresses.
I suppose what's new is the isolation of genetic evidence for the red hair, but I still find it offputting to read, "The image of Neanderthals may be in need of a makeover."
Here's a widely circulated, 2005 image of a Neanderthal girl whose remains were found in Gibraltar:
It appears that the charming young lady has red hair. If journalists would actually read the work of their peers (and look at the pictures as well) they'd be far less ignorant...Posted by Ideofact at November 8, 2007 12:59 AM