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Did Starving Neanderthals Eat Each Other?
New Scientist ^ | 12-4-2006 | Rowan Hooper

Posted on 12/04/2006 5:01:47 PM PST by blam

Did starving Neanderthals eat each other?

22:00 04 December 2006
NewScientist.com news service
Rowan Hooper

Neanderthals lived a desperately tough life, sometimes so close to starvation that when one of them died their compatriots would fall upon the body and devour it, according to new research.

Scorned as clumsy, idiotic brutes with little in the way of developed culture, our pitiless modern view of Neanderthals may be tempered by new findings that provide insight into the terrible life our evolutionary cousins faced.

Antonio Rosas, of the National Museum for Natural Sciences in Madrid, Spain, and colleagues studied 43,000-year-old Neanderthal remains found in the El Sidrón cave in the north of the Iberian peninsula.

The cave is extraordinarily rich in Neanderthal remains. About 1300 Neanderthal fossils have been excavated since its accidental discovery in 1994. And the picture emerging from analysis of the remains is now enriching our understanding of the much-maligned species.

Spiritual life

Rosas and colleagues examined the teeth of eight individuals found in the cave and found hypoplasia lines – evidence that during growth, the individuals had probably gone through a period of starvation. Moreover, cuts discovered on some of the bones suggest that cannibalism was practiced by the group.

(Excerpt) Read more at newscientist.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: cannibalism; chianti; godsgravesglyphs; neanderthals; starving

1 posted on 12/04/2006 5:01:48 PM PST by blam
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To: blam

Taste like chicken?


2 posted on 12/04/2006 5:03:07 PM PST by rrrod
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To: blam

Only when the grub got low.


3 posted on 12/04/2006 5:03:09 PM PST by thegreatbeast (Avenge Curt Weldon!)
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To: blam

Is this about politics?


4 posted on 12/04/2006 5:04:37 PM PST by Osage Orange (The old/liberal/socialist media is the most ruthless and destructive enemy of this country.)
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To: blam


Guy on left: Hmmmm... he seems to be putting on weight lately....yummy!


5 posted on 12/04/2006 5:04:50 PM PST by Paloma_55 (I may be a hateful bigot, but I still love you)
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To: blam

I don't know why not. Modern humans turn to cannibalism fairly quickly during times of starvation.


6 posted on 12/04/2006 5:06:05 PM PST by cripplecreek (If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?)
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To: blam

I always new Democrats were like Neanderthals, When times get tough they eat their own.


7 posted on 12/04/2006 5:06:30 PM PST by IllumiNaughtyByNature (If a pug barks and no one is around to hear it... they hold a grudge for a long time!)
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To: blam

I don't want to talk about what Garry Studds and Barney Frank do!!


8 posted on 12/04/2006 5:07:37 PM PST by MIchaelTArchangel
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To: blam

I don`t think they did that. Islam wasn`t invented yet.


9 posted on 12/04/2006 5:08:04 PM PST by Screamname (Tagline: (optional, printed after your name on post))
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To: blam
Neanderthals lived a desperately tough life, sometimes so close to starvation that when one of them died their compatriots would fall upon the body and devour it,

So did the Uruguayan rugby team.

10 posted on 12/04/2006 5:09:53 PM PST by Harmless Teddy Bear (Those who call their fellow citizens Sheeple are just ticked they were not chosen as Shepherds)
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To: Osage Orange
Is this about politics?

Scorned as clumsy, idiotic brutes with little in the way of developed culture

From that it could be about the Clinton years in the WH.

11 posted on 12/04/2006 5:12:40 PM PST by Michael.SF. (Note: Sell Diebold Stock.................NOW!!)
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To: blam

Donner, Party of 8 and less?


12 posted on 12/04/2006 5:16:03 PM PST by theDentist (Qwerty ergo typo : I type, therefore I misspelll.)
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To: SunkenCiv

GGG Ping.


13 posted on 12/04/2006 5:17:39 PM PST by blam
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To: cripplecreek

"Modern humans turn to cannibalism fairly quickly during times of starvation."
_____________________________________________________

yeah--i went to the frig, and nothin' was there, so i ate some people.

i HAD to--i wuz starvin!!!


14 posted on 12/04/2006 5:19:00 PM PST by drhogan
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To: rrrod

Nah!

I'll take the duck in mango sauce!


15 posted on 12/04/2006 5:21:11 PM PST by aShepard
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To: blam

I'll have the roast Oog with magno salsa.

16 posted on 12/04/2006 5:24:13 PM PST by KarlInOhio (Hey Kerry, What part of showing heels and ass is a winning strategy in Iraq?)
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To: blam

"They tasted like chicken..."

17 posted on 12/04/2006 5:25:32 PM PST by WestVirginiaRebel (Common sense will do to liberalism what the atomic bomb did to Nagasaki-Rush Limbaugh)
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To: blam

Geez.

Now who do we apologize to? And who gets the reparations windfall?


18 posted on 12/04/2006 5:26:55 PM PST by Mr. Brightside
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To: blam

You gotta love this stuff. Human beings can't even get the basic facts straight about current events, let alone report them accurately. Yet, our experts are frightfully sure about what transpired 43,000 years ago. Uh, yuh.


19 posted on 12/04/2006 5:28:21 PM PST by WorkingClassFilth (Ever learning . . .)
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To: Osage Orange

Lighten up.


20 posted on 12/04/2006 5:32:14 PM PST by Mr. Brightside
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To: blam

Great post--thanks.


21 posted on 12/04/2006 5:34:43 PM PST by Pharmboy ([She turned me into a] Newt! in '08)
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some oldies, haven't reprised 'em in a while:
Taste for flesh troubled Neanderthals
by Dr Damian Carrington
BBC News Online
Monday, 12 June, 2000
The extinction of the Neanderthals could have been caused by their choosy appetites - they ate virtually nothing but meat... "They were picky eaters," says Dr Paul Pettitt, at the University of Oxford, UK. "And this tells me that they are really unchanging - doing the same old thing year after year... Neanderthals were excellent hunters," Dr Petitt told BBC News Online. "But the issue that was at stake was whether they hunted every day of their lives or whether it was just a summer outing." ...The early humans themselves may have been better hunters than the Neanderthals, depriving them of their kills. Or the hunted animals may have been struck by disease or migrated away.
Yeah, that's right! Neandertal WENT EXTINCT because he ate too much meat. Nothing political about that, eh?
What the Hominid Ate
by Kenneth Chang
Analyzing carbon atoms locked up in tooth enamel, two researchers challenge the widely held belief that Australopithecus africanus -- an upright, walking pre-human hominid that lived in southern Africa -- ate little more than fruits and leaves. Matt Sponheimer, an anthropology graduate student at Rutgers University in New Jersey, and Julia Lee-Thorp of the University of Cape Town, South Africa, looked at four A. africanus fossil skeletons unearthed from South Africa. Living about 3 million years ago, A. africanus may be a direct ancestor of modern humans. A. africanus teeth were large and blunt with thick enamel, ideal for crushing nuts and chewing fruit as opposed to the sharp incisors one would want to rip into meat. The first stone tools, which would help in eating meat, didn't appear until about half a million years later. Sponheimer and Lee-Thorp took a new approach, looking at the chemical composition of the tooth enamel. After chipping about two milligrams of enamel with a diamond-tipped dental drill, the researchers analyzed the samples for the isotope carbon-13, which contains one extra neutron in the nucleus compared to the usual form of carbon. What Sponheimer and Lee-Thorp found was that the teeth of A. africanus had an in-between amount carbon-13 -- more than the fruit eaters, less than the grass eaters.
Hey, Henry Ford tried feeding his employees grass sandwiches. Maybe that was during his vegetarian fanatic phase, not unlike that of Paul and Linda who threatened to fire anyone working for their last tour who ate meat for the duration, or Ford's good friend and role model, Hitler.
Veggies Really Are Brain Food
Fire helped early humans evolve and become more intelligent not because it allowed them to barbecue meat, but because it allowed them to cook vegetables, researchers said on Tuesday. Learning how to cook probably also allowed humans to develop their unique monogamous society. Gregory Laden of the University of Minnesota, Richard Wrangham of Harvard University and colleagues noted that very early pre-humans, including the australopithecines such as "Lucy," had huge teeth and powerful jaws. By 1.9 million years ago, when Homo erectus appeared, teeth became smaller and jawbones less robust. Females got bigger—closer in size to males. Brains and bodies both grew. While some anthropologists argue it was because meat entered the diet, Laden and a team of anthropologists, nutritionists and primatologists said the changes occurred because the pre-humans had discovered fire and learned how to make roots and other vegetables easier to eat and more nutritious.
Laden and Wrangham wouldn't be vegetarians by any chance, would they?
Shift In Eating Habits Of Early Modern Humans
2 May 2001
Compared to Neanderthals living in inland Europe up to 100,000 years earlier, who relied primarily on land animals for their protein, early modern humans supplemented their diets with a significant amount of fish and waterfowl. The evidence has been outlined in a paper entitled 'Stable isotope evidence for increasing dietary breadth in the European mid-Upper Paleolithi', which is scheduled to appear in the May 22 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. Dr Michael Richards, of the Department of Archaeological Sciences, at the University of Bradford, said: "This new information highlights the differences in diets between Neanderthals and early modern humans and shows that modern humans were more flexible and adaptable in their dietary choices. This ability to adapt and use a range of resources could perhaps have given us, as a species, a competitive edge over the Neanderthals."
A Rumination on the Invention of Soup
March 1, 2002
It was a particularly tough and dangerous world back then. These hunter-gatherers were stuck in the last blast of the Wurm glaciation that killed off so much of their food and so many species. It was every man for himself as they ran fearfully from--and ran hungrily after--woolly mammoths, sabre-tooth tigers, wolves, and other hominids. And yet elderly Neanderthal skeletons have been found in France with teeth worn down below gum level--and deeply crippled skeletons have been found too. Implication: They could only have been kept alive through the compassion of their communities and the brilliance of some nouvelle cuisine chef who could find food alternatives to incredibly indigestible plants, meat tougher than my old aunt's shoes, and all of it cold. I try to put myself under the toque of that Stone Age Julia Child. I imagine him or her using bark to dip and carry water...putting food bits in it and noticing them soften or swell...marking how plants and berries, meat and marrow chunks would infuse the water with color and flavor. I imagine him or her getting the idea of warm broth from the 98.6 degree Fahrenheit mother's milk that kept little Neanderthal babies happy. That's when it hits me: Soup! It's an unbelievable achievement.
I guess Neandertal didn't invent bouillabaisse? ;')
22 posted on 12/04/2006 5:38:55 PM PST by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Thursday, November 16, 2006 https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: blam; FairOpinion; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; ...
Thanks Blam.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
"Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list or GGG weekly digest
-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

23 posted on 12/04/2006 5:39:20 PM PST by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Thursday, November 16, 2006 https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: blam
Did Homo Sapiens fall upon and devour one another (Donner party)?

24 posted on 12/04/2006 5:43:45 PM PST by William Terrell (Individuals can exist without government but government can't exist without individuals.)
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To: MIchaelTArchangel

"I don't want to talk about what Garry Studds and Barney Frank do!!"



they eat lots of wieners


25 posted on 12/04/2006 5:46:56 PM PST by sure_fine (*not one to over kill the thought process*)
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To: blam

Some scientist looks at some bones , comes up with a theory and it automatically becomes fact.


26 posted on 12/04/2006 5:48:35 PM PST by sgtbono2002 (The fourth estate is a fifth column.)
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To: rrrod

"Taste like chicken?"

Possibly like Long Pig?

There is very good proof that American Indians in the SouthWest were eating each other, based on human myoglobin found in human coprolites.

There is no reason to suppose Neanderthals were different.


27 posted on 12/04/2006 5:50:27 PM PST by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon Liberty, it is essential to examine principles, - -)
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To: sgtbono2002
Some scientist looks at some bones , comes up with a theory and it automatically becomes fact.

Out of curiosity, when did knee-jerk contempt for science become fashionable around here?

28 posted on 12/04/2006 5:50:31 PM PST by Wormwood (the happiest sadist)
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To: WorkingClassFilth
You gotta love this stuff. Human beings can't even get the basic facts straight about current events, let alone report them accurately. Yet, our experts are frightfully sure about what transpired 43,000 years ago. Uh, yuh.

Now if that isn't the truth.

29 posted on 12/04/2006 5:52:39 PM PST by org.whodat (Never let the facts get in the way of a good assumption.)
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To: WorkingClassFilth

Yes but scientists are not partisan nor are they biased. (sarc)


30 posted on 12/04/2006 5:57:43 PM PST by Muleteam1
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To: Wormwood

I guess around the same time scientists started using knee jerk evidence to support their thesis for Global Warming and other things they have no way of proving.


31 posted on 12/04/2006 6:01:20 PM PST by sgtbono2002 (The fourth estate is a fifth column.)
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To: Wormwood

There is a little group of them who apparently sit around and wait for any science thread and go on to make inane comments. Not sure what the point is - if they don't like or understand a topic, why not just ignore it?


32 posted on 12/04/2006 6:03:24 PM PST by SuzyQue (Remember to think.)
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To: Wormwood

"Out of curiosity, when did knee-jerk contempt for science become fashionable around here?"

Just about the same time knee-jerk contempt for just about everything became fashionable.

Most countries.
All democrats.
Most Republicans.
Most religions.
Massachusetts.
Reagan's 11th Commandment.

etc.



33 posted on 12/04/2006 6:06:49 PM PST by truth_seeker
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To: truth_seeker
I have knee jerk contempt for anything fashionable

TT
34 posted on 12/04/2006 6:10:41 PM PST by TexasTransplant (NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSET)
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To: blam

One logical reason against cannibalism is that a dead body attracts food on its own. That is, the smell given off by a dead biped body will attract predators from miles around. Canines, carrion birds, bears, cats, etc.

All very edible. But the practice of burial is so that such animals *won't* be attracted, and show up when you don't want them to. If you don't bury your dead, you will soon be up to your elbows in critters.

Only during a hard winter this isn't the case. As the Donner Party learned to their unhappiness.


35 posted on 12/04/2006 6:22:35 PM PST by Popocatapetl
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To: Popocatapetl
One logical reason against cannibalism is that a dead body attracts food on its own. That is, the smell given off by a dead biped body will attract predators from miles around. Canines, carrion birds, bears, cats, etc.

A half body will attract just as many scavengers as a whole body - and you get a snack to tide you over while waiting...

36 posted on 12/04/2006 6:36:03 PM PST by Antonello (Oh my God, don't shoot the banana!)
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To: cripplecreek

Actually, the number of instances when modern humans have faced starvation without resorting to cannibalism far outnumber those few remarkable cases when they have.


37 posted on 12/04/2006 8:09:37 PM PST by AntiGuv ("..I do things for political expediency.." - Sen. John McCain on FOX News)
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To: blam

O boy! I have just been informed about the definition of the term "longpork."

Now I can use it.

Neanderthals liked a little sauce with their longpork dinners.

Tada!


38 posted on 12/04/2006 9:55:10 PM PST by Chickensoup (If you don't go to the holy war, the holy war will come to you.)
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To: blam

I'd rather not comment.


39 posted on 12/04/2006 9:59:09 PM PST by Dustbunny (The BIBLE - Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth)
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To: WorkingClassFilth
You gotta love this stuff. Human beings can't even get the basic facts straight about current events, let alone report them accurately. Yet, our experts are frightfully sure about what transpired 43,000 years ago. Uh, yuh.

This is the human condition...

CA....

40 posted on 12/04/2006 10:12:23 PM PST by Chances Are (Whew! It seems I've once again found that silly grin!)
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To: Paloma_55

No, it's the guy on the right, since you never see the guy on the left anymore.


41 posted on 12/04/2006 10:17:10 PM PST by oneamericanvoice (Once a Dem, now Proud to be GOP! I've seen the light!)
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To: blam

Whenever I go on a waiting list at a restaurant, I always give them the name "Donner."


42 posted on 12/04/2006 10:42:56 PM PST by Erasmus (Go to Sebastopol and Crimea River.)
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To: blam

Starving Neanderthals = Good Band Name.


43 posted on 12/05/2006 4:13:01 AM PST by Big Guy and Rusty 99 (proud sponsor of the "helmets for democrats" foundation)
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To: blam

To the best of my knowledge they are still serving that at 99!


44 posted on 12/05/2006 4:19:20 AM PST by Doc Savage ("You couldn't tame me, but you taught me.................")
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To: Mr. Brightside
LOL!!

Hey Mr. Brightside.....you ain't looking on the brightside here. I was attempting some lame humor....

Do politicians eat each other? Yes.

Are politicians Neanderthals? Yes, again.

FRegards,

45 posted on 12/05/2006 5:00:14 AM PST by Osage Orange (The old/liberal/socialist media is the most ruthless and destructive enemy of this country.)
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To: blam

43,000 years? But the earth is only 5,000 years old!


46 posted on 12/05/2006 6:23:11 AM PST by kellynch ("Our only freedom is the freedom to discipline ourselves." -- Bernard Baruch)
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To: AntiGuv
Regina v. Dudley and Stephens. I remember the case well, when I was in law school before rocks cooled. The issue that interested the law school class the most, is how to decide who got the short straw. The issue of scarifying the few for the many was stipulated to. That seemed "obvious."
47 posted on 12/05/2006 9:25:15 PM PST by Torie
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