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GreyWeather

Neanderthals Were Cannibals, Study Confirms

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Neanderthals suffered periods of starvation and may have supplemented their diet through cannibalism, according to a study of remains from northwest Spain.

Paleobiologists studied samples from eight 43,000-year-old Neanderthal skeletons excavated from an underground cave in El Sidrón, Spain since 2000. The study sheds light on how Neanderthals lived before the arrival of modern humans in Europe.

Researchers found cut marks and evidence that bones had been torn apart, which they say could indicate cannibalism.

"There is strong evidence suggesting that these Neanderthals were eaten," said the study's lead author, Antonio Rosas of the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales in Madrid. "That is, long bones and the skull were broken for extraction of the marrow, [which] is very nutritious."

According to Rosas, there is evidence of cannibalism in Neanderthal remains from other European sites.

"I would say this practice… was general among Neanderthal populations," he said.

Teeth from the remains showed evidence of periods of starvation or minimal nutrition, particularly during difficult life transitions like weaning or adolescence, according to Rosas.

Teeth grow by adding thin layers of enamel, but when some change in the natural development of the individual occurs, the enamel is deposited more slowly, or stops altogether, Rosas explained. Outside forces like climate or illness could also affect tooth growth, he said.

"So mostly harsh winters, together with physiological difficulties in the life history of these people may explain what we found," Rosas told LiveScience.

Rosas' team also noticed that southern Neanderthals had wider, flatter faces than northern Neanderthals. Exactly why this variation is seen is still a matter of debate, but according to Rosas the most likely explanation is adaptation to the climate. For example, people exposed to the cold environment of the North may have developed longer noses for heating the air, he said.

Source

Sapiens and neanderthal's aren't that different, seeing as we also go cannibal when starvation sets in.

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When the ground is too hard to dig into to bury, they may have just laid them out in the snow and ice and used them as a last resort for food.

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After reading a few other articles on this.. it really does look like it's one of those last resort kind of things. Everyone had pointed to conditions being so horrid that it was either eat the dead, or die themselves.

Which, has happened in modernday humans from time to time.

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It was speculated quite a while ago that neanderthals were cannibalistic, there was evidence of Prion disease epidemics (think of CJD/Mad Cow disease), which are easily spread through ingestion of infected tissue. I guess this confirms it.

Although I wonder if it really was down to malnutrition, after all, some chimpanzees troops are also cannibalistic. Maybe it was cultural.

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Humans are cannibals under the right conditions. Kuru is a disease caused by cannibalism.

Humans are the only animal to force other animals to become cannibals too. Just look at mad cow disease. Gotta love humanity forcing cows to eat cows.

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Humans are cannibals under the right conditions. Kuru is a disease caused by cannibalism.

Kuru is a disease that's transmitted through cannibalism, although that's not what causes it.

Humans are the only animal to force other animals to become cannibals too. Just look at mad cow disease. Gotta love humanity forcing cows to eat cows.

:huh: Mad Cow disease has nothing to do with cows cannibalizing. Infact it's impossible for cows to even eat meat.

Edited by Raptor X7

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Mad Cow disease has nothing to do with cows cannibalizing. Infact it's impossible for cows to even eat meat.

I'm probably wrong, but I thought I read somewhere that on cow farms, calves are fed the blood of other cows in place of milk sometimes.

Can someone please tell me whether or not that's true, and provide a link maybe?

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:huh: Mad Cow disease has nothing to do with cows cannibalizing. Infact it's impossible for cows to even eat meat.

Mad Cow had develouped because farmers feed their cows bone meal. Bone meal is from well... bone. Bones from previously slaughtered cows. So in a way, it's forced cannibalizm.

The disease itself is a form of protein, which is why it's damned near impossible to cure.

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:huh: Mad Cow disease has nothing to do with cows cannibalizing. Infact it's impossible for cows to even eat meat.

The use of meat and bone meal as a protein supplement in cattle feed was widespread in Europe prior to about 1987.

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That’s why humans developed a sense of humour at that point in evolution.

They stopped eating each other because they suddenly tasted funny. :)

Irish

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Geesh Irish....I just fell off the couch.... :rofl::tu:

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That’s why humans developed a sense of humour at that point in evolution.

They stopped eating each other because they suddenly tasted funny. :)

Irish

Nuthin' says lovin' like gramma in the oven!

*ducks thrown objects and dashes out of the thread cackling madly*

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:huh: Mad Cow disease has nothing to do with cows cannibalizing. Infact it's impossible for cows to even eat meat.

:blush: I stand corrected.

Mad Cow had develouped because farmers feed their cows bone meal. Bone meal is from well... bone. Bones from previously slaughtered cows. So in a way, it's forced cannibalizm.

The disease itself is a form of protein, which is why it's damned near impossible to cure.

Thanks. :tu:

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X) welcome!

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Humans almost identical to Neanderthals

By FIONA MACRAE

We may like to think we're far superior to the Neanderthals species that us humans beat in the evolutionary battle. But analysis of DNA from a 38,000-year-old bone has revealed Neanderthal and human DNA is actually up to 99.9 per cent identical. In contrast, humans and chimps only share 95 per cent of their genetic material. The discovery came as scientists work on decoding the entire Neanderthal genome from a perfectly-preserved artefect.

Found in a cave in Croatia, the bone could hold the key to many of the secrets of evolution. Dr Edward Rubin, one of the US and German researchers who have started to sequence the ancient DNA, said: 'We are at the dawn of Neanderthal genomics. 'This data will function as a DNA time machine and tell us aspects of biology we could never get from bones or associated artefacts.

Fossil remains have already shown that Neanderthals looked different from us, with heavy brows, low foreheads, and receding chins. They were also much more robustly built than modern humans. A full blueprint of Neanderthal DNA - due to be produced in two years' time - could provide information on eye colour and hair colour, intelligence and language. The partial sequencing completed so far has confirmed the theory that humans and Neanderthals split from their common ancestor between 400,000 and 500,000 years ago, studies published in the journals Nature and Science report. The two then co-existed for many thousands of years before Neanderthals became extinct around 30,000 years ago, perhaps beaten by their more innovative cousins in the race for food, clothing and shelter, It is thought they were unable to compete with the more innovative and adaptable Homo sapiens for food, clothing and shelter. While the studies did not find any evidence that the two populations interbred, the researchers were unable to completely rule out the idea.

Dr Svante Paabo (CORR), of the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, Germany, said: 'While unable to definitively conclude that interbreeding between the two species of humans did not occur, analysis of the nuclear DNA from the Neanderthal suggests the low likelihood of it having occurred at any appreciable level.' Co-researcher Professor Jonathan Pritchard, of the University of Chicago, said further analysis could provide more evidence of what makes us human. 'Humans went through several key stages of evolution during the last 400,000 years,' he said. 'If we can compare humans and Neanderthal genomes, then we can possibly identify what the key genetic changes were during that final stage of human evolution.'

Professor Chris Stringer, head of human origins at the Natural History Museum in London, said: 'Research can now extend to complete the whole genome of a Neanderthal and to examine Neanderthal variation through time and space to compare with ours. 'Having such rich data holds the promise of looking for the equivalent genes in Neanderthals that code for specific features in modern humans, for example eye colour, skin and hair type, cognitive and language skills.' He added: 'Having a Neanderthal genome will also throw light on our own evolution, by allowing a three-way comparison of the genetic blueprints that produced Neanderthals, and that today produce us and our closest living relatives, the chimpanzees. 'We should then be able to pin down unique changes in each genome to show how we came to be different from each other.'

* In just 50 years' time, we'll live healthily to 100, thanks to full body transplants and a vegetarian diet, leading scientists predict.

Asked to forecast the biggest scientific breakthroughs of the next 50 years, they said the development of anti-aging drugs will allow us to live to a sprightly 100. Professor Richard Miller, of the University of Michigan, said: 'It is now routine in laboratory mammals to extend lifespan by about 40 per cent. 'Turning on the same protective system in humans should, by 2056, create the first class of centenarians who are as vigorous and productive as today's run-of-the-mill sexagenarians.' Advances in storing both eggs and ovarian tissue will allow women to give birth into old age, while technology that allows us to read the minds of animals will lead to mass vegetarianism.

New Scientist magazine's 50th birthday issue also predicts whole body transplants will be routine within just 50 years.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/arti...d=1770&ct=5

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One cow says to another....you heard about that mad cows disease the other cow says it doesn't bother me I am a helicopter.

Very interesting thread thank you.

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Can we stereotype Neanderthals and call them cannibals? I mean if it's part of their culture who are we to judge? :P

I just kidding, this is very interesting. Makes you wonder, doesn't it; an uncomfortable look back at our history.

Edited by billyhill

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Many humans are cannibals too.

This is rote.

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*bites of pieces of nail and swallows*

Hmm.. Arbiter's next!

Edited by Mart

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this study doesn't really surprise me.

"The work at the Moula-Guercy cave allows us for the first time to demonstrate the existence of the practice of cannibalism by European Neanderthals," said research leader Alban Defleur from the Université de la Méditerranée at Marseilles.

It is unclear as to why exactly the Neanderthals were eaten. Defleur believes it's unlikely they were eaten for survival as there was an abundance of natural food sources at the site. However, the researchers have also found no evidence that the bones were cut and broken as in a mortuary ritual either. In fact, the Neanderthal bones were found scattered in amongst deer bones which also displayed similar cut marks and breaks." (taken from here. http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/stories/s56397.htm)

Though this is just one article, it shows that they ate each other not just out of survival neccessity. Just thought I would throw my 2 cents worth in.

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Perhaps the practice could have been a seasonal thing. The neanderthals may have found it next to impossible to follow migrating prey given the extremely harsh conditions in which they (presumably) lived. The hunting of other neanderthal 'tribes' may have been a regular winter occurrence?

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this study doesn't really surprise me.

"The work at the Moula-Guercy cave allows us for the first time to demonstrate the existence of the practice of cannibalism by European Neanderthals," said research leader Alban Defleur from the Université de la Méditerranée at Marseilles.

It is unclear as to why exactly the Neanderthals were eaten. Defleur believes it's unlikely they were eaten for survival as there was an abundance of natural food sources at the site. However, the researchers have also found no evidence that the bones were cut and broken as in a mortuary ritual either. In fact, the Neanderthal bones were found scattered in amongst deer bones which also displayed similar cut marks and breaks." (taken from here. http://www.abc.net.au/science/news/stories/s56397.htm)

Though this is just one article, it shows that they ate each other not just out of survival neccessity. Just thought I would throw my 2 cents worth in.

Hi Newbloodmoon:

That's very interesting information, and no, the study doesn't surprise me either. I have a belief based on textual evidence, but I'm reluctant to post it here. If you are very openminded, I would, however, be willing to share this with you in a PM. It concerns a belief as to why Neanderthal bones may have been found which suggested Neanderthal cannibalism.

http://ashiana.conforums.com/index.cgi

~ Isis

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I keep wanting to call them Gibborim

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Did you hear the one about the Neanderthal terrorist?

Drum role please!!!!!!

He was arrested for smuggling arms into the village. :unsure2:

Irish

Edited by Irish

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