Excerpt: The work of his team suggests that facial modification was the first step in Neandertal evolution, supporting a model in which Neandertal features evolved in stages.
My comment: The concept of nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled ecological adaptations manifested in the morphological and behavioral phenotypes of species from microbes to man seems to have completely escaped the grasp of these researchers who report on evolving in stages. Instead of learning about how nutrient uptake alters the microRNA/messenger RNA balance, which leads to amino acid substitutions that differentiate the cell types of all individuals of all species, they continue to tout the pseudoscientific nonsense associated with natural selection for visually-perceived physical features when all animal models extend the concept of molecular epigenetics to humans.
Indeed, even the modern human population that ecologically adapted in what is now central China (supposedly during the past ~30K years) revealed that a nutrient-dependent change in one base pair led to an amino acid substitution that differentiated the cell types of hair, teeth, mammary tissue, and sweat glands. See for review Kohl (2013). Since cause and effect was established in a mouse-to-human model of the amino acid substitution, it is safe to say that facial changes in mice and Neandertals are not the first to change.