Friday, September 26, 2008

Neanderthals ate seafood, find closes gap (a bit) with modern humans

Researchers studying Neanderthal dwellings in Gibraltar caves (perhaps one of the last places Neanderthals lived before going extinct), have uncovered evidence that they ate seafood, reports the BBC. And not just shellfish, but marine mammals like seals and dolphins.

By the way, they ate horses, too. They're Neanderthals, okay? They had to eat anything they could to keep up with homo sapiens, which were well on their way towards world domination. But the fact that Neanderthals ate seafood means they're more like humans than we thought they were, thus complicating "the story of how modern humans (Homo sapiens) out-competed and out-lived their evolutionary cousins."

But it was already complicated. As Pound360 found earlier this year, "the story of Neanderthal extinction is one of the most intriguing in all of human evolution." As the differences between Neanderthal and modern humans narrow, scrutiny of the remainders will intensify. One of those differences, cannibalism,
was discussed here.

(Photo of Neanderthal skeleton by
Claire Houck)

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.