The average Neandertal male stood 64 inches tall, weighed 143 pounds and had a brain volume of 1600 milliliters. The average female stood 62 inches tall, weighed 110 pounds and had a brain volume of 1300 milliliters. Both sexes had to be larger and stockier proportionally because the climate of Late Pleistocene Europe was very similar to that of both Canada and Alaska. Despite this, however, there was evidence that they still wore clothing.

But if the Neandertals were smaller and heavier--enough to be analogous to the dwarf of modern fantasy--would they still need to wear clothes?

In this alternate Earth, both Neandertal sexes had the same brain volume (averaging up to 1600 milliliters), but the average male stood 48 inches tall and weighed 200 pounds, whereas the average female stood 43 inches tall and weighed 168 pounds. In short, smaller in height but higher in weight than our Neandertals. With 200 pounds of bone, muscle and fat compressed into a smaller body, this one question stands--would the smaller, "dwarved-down" Neandertal still need to wear clothing, or would the extra mass be enough to keep them warm in the frigid climate of Ice Age Europe?

  • $\begingroup$ Almost duplicate: worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/180590/… You might have just edited the previous question. $\endgroup$ Jul 16, 2020 at 12:21
  • $\begingroup$ Why do Eskimos wear clothing? While short, fat people might be less susceptible to cold weather, there's always a temperature below which they'd be uncomfortable. Do they have substantially thicker skin, or are they as susceptible to scratches, nicks, and abrasions as normal people? I can't actually think of a reason the creature you describe wouldn't need clothes beyond the reasons for normal humans (e.g., tribal Polynesians in tropical conditions, etc.) other than a temperature shift toward cooler climates. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Jul 16, 2020 at 14:54
  • $\begingroup$ Neanderthal: "Sun BURNS!" Me: "Actually the Sun is fusing..." $\endgroup$
    – user6760
    Jul 16, 2020 at 15:25

2 Answers 2


Humans already don't need to wear clothing at all. We can get along in very warm (SE Asia) as well as very cold (Tierra del Fuego) climates without a stitch on us. Apart from protective gear, decoration, and cultural considerations, it's just not needed.

Your fourteen stone Dwarves won't need clothing either. Just need to evolve some cold adaptive traits. We already know Neanderthals could control fire. What more do they need?

  • $\begingroup$ In warm climate, you can die of cold (or cold induced starvasion) if you cannot dry well enough. In this regard, being naked (no hair, no clothe) is an advantage $\endgroup$
    – Madlozoz
    Jul 16, 2020 at 16:03

Are you sure Neanderthals used clothe?

Well... There is no much positive proof that Neanderthals wore clothe (only that they were doing things with animal skins).

Also, remember we (almost) only know Neanderthals from a few fossilised bones. For what we know they could have been as hairy as a bear. And even if they were not, it's not far fetch to imagine that a sub specie did re-grow hair.

Another "proove me wrong" hypothesis would be they had blubber similar to Cetaceans or seals (other naked animal living in polar climate). In this case, Neanderthals would be just as bulky as the dwarves you imagined


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .