Along with the Neanderthals, the Cro-Magnons were the first to make tailored and sewn clothing!
They also invented the sewing needle which was made from sharp and pointy bones. The needle
even had an eye on one end, exactly like we do now!
Holes would be punched in animal skin/fur to be laced together by yet more skin made into
string (no thread back then!). The early humans even tanned the skin using materials in oak
trees and made it into leather for more durabillity! The clothes also look like modern
clothing, the Cro-Magnons had pants, coats and even boots!
Without the Cro-Magnons, we would not know how to make clothes (RIP fashion :D)!
They were also the first humans to make jewelry! The Cro-Magnons would string together ivory,
polished stones, bones, teeth and shells to make pendants, necklaces and bracelets.
From this "first" or invention, I think that the Cro-Magnons were meeting some of their wants while other earlier species might have been too busy staying alive and meeting basic needs to think about wants. It's just my opinion but maybe from there point on, humans have been having wants and meeting them (from new iPads to new clothes) because (most) people nowadays have all their basic needs.
The Cro-Magnons were hunter-gatherers, but they used a bit of technology to help them.
One of the changes in hunting was the Cro-Magnon invention of the spear thrower, it could
help them throw hunting spears farther and harder so they can target prey farther away;
therefore lowering the danger of the human becoming the prey. Also, bows and arrows were
invented around their time period (archaeologists are still not sure), and that helped them
shoot even farther away. Additionally, they used and maybe invented harpoons to catch
marine creatures like fish and seals.
Us, modern humans, still use harpoons (although way more advanced ones). And also, spear throwers might have influenced our rocket and missile launch systems (we're still trying to get things farther right?).
The Cro-Magnons had art! They were one of the first to cave paint. The cave paintings that Cro-Magnon artists created no longer looked like messing around. You will see why in a bit :D They used natural pigments to add color to their rather beautiful (for tens of thousands of years ago anyway) paintings. Speculation suggests that the paintings might be used for communication, religious and ceremonial purposes.
A cave painting of a horse in a cave in France called Lascaux
Note: this image was released under public domain so no license or citation is needed.
Also, the Cro-Magnons dyed and tattoed themselves!
Although they weren't the first ones to bury their dead (that goes to the Neanderthals), they covered the bodies with red ocher, a type of natural pigment. The reason for this is still unknown. Some archaeologists predict that the red pigment might have represented the blood of the living. Like the Neanderthals, they also buried any tools in the grave. Another thing to note is that they might've had afterlife beliefs...
The Cro-Magnons also made engravings and statuettes of both animals and humans made out of ivory. Some have pregnant woman in them (called Venus statues). The reason for these things are also unknown. Maybe they're used for wishing for better babies???
Who started speaking first is highly debated, speculated and argued about. The vocal arrangements of the Cro-Magnons suggests (according to some) that they had the abillity to speak! Some say that they might have spoken rather basic words and sounds. Others also say that they made high-pitched sounds and noises to communicate.
The Cro-Magnons migrated. In the winter, they would live in sturdy houses and caves. In the summer, they would've lived in teepees made from animal skin and really anything they could fine (e.g. bones, branches, grass etc.) because they followed herds of animals and moved very often.