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Did the Neanderthals fail to hunt rabbits ?

Posted on Sunday, 3 March, 2013 | Comment icon 38 comments | News tip by: Still Waters

Image credit: CC 3.0 Masteruk

A new theory suggests that an inability to catch rabbits for food may have hastened their extinction.

Neanderthals were known to have hunted a variety of animals, in particular large mammals such as deer and even mammoths. When some of these species started to disappear our human ancestors enjoyed success switching to hunting for smaller mammals such as rabbits, but evidence retrieved from caves suggests that the Neanderthals may have struggled to keep up.

The remains of larger animals have been discovered in abundance dating back up to 30,000 years, but after the Neanderthals disappeared this seemed to change to a greater abundance of rabbit remains. Could it be that an inability to adapt to smaller prey was a contributing factor in their eventual extinction ?

"It's not clear why Neanderthals would have had more trouble changing prey, says Fa."

  View: Full article |  Source: New Scientist

  Discuss: View comments (38)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #29 Posted by Frank Merton on 4 March, 2013, 13:30
Any killing of anything, for food or otherwise, is wrong. It is just that starving yourself is also wrong. There are big wrongs and small wrongs and in-between wrongs, and we all have to make our decisions. I am not a vegetarian. I eat fish and poultry and a few other more bizarre things, but most of my diet is vegetarian. Do I think it is wrong for others to eat meat? Well, yes, but cutting off a bit of asparagus is also killing, and therefore wrong, but, as things go, not a very bad wrong. It is even better if the animal as a result lives better than if it weren't our prey -- eith... [More]
Comment icon #30 Posted by CrimsonKing on 4 March, 2013, 13:32
Well said frank
Comment icon #31 Posted by Junior Chubb on 4 March, 2013, 13:34
I would guess you are a Westerner then. In reality there are no rights, wrongs or sins just life and death...
Comment icon #32 Posted by CrimsonKing on 4 March, 2013, 13:40
Even better said chubb hahaha
Comment icon #33 Posted by Frank Merton on 4 March, 2013, 13:41
Not quite, although I suspect close to it. I think there are rights and wrongs. This is a notion that no doubt I was taught very young with a switch but I have both religious and philosophical reasons for retaining the idea. I just don't buy "sin." That is an offense against God, and since I'm an atheist I don't believe in that kind of divine legislation. Something is wrong basically if it harms. Now many things both harm and do good, which is why there are degrees of harm. The Buddha (sorry but I can't help bring him into this since that is where I am coming ... [More]
Comment icon #34 Posted by CrimsonKing on 4 March, 2013, 13:42
i just had 3 eggs,and venison tenderloin for breakfast.I just sinned like crazy,felt and tasted good though so i guess it was worth it
Comment icon #35 Posted by Junior Chubb on 4 March, 2013, 14:00
This is where your perception of right or wrong comes from, we all have different (though often similar) perceptions of right and wrong though in reality there is no such thing, there is just survival and what has to be done to survive. Luckily we live in a world where we can justify what is 'right' or what is 'wrong'. I see where you are coming from with this, but again it is all point of view, for me saying 'sin' is just a posh way of saying 'wrong', linked to religion maybe, but not dependant on it.
Comment icon #36 Posted by Frank Merton on 4 March, 2013, 14:07
We have a perception of right and wrong that we were indoctrinated as children, and we all automatically assume this is the proper basis for behavior. It is called our conscience. It is a reasonably good guide, but we have to remember that it is a cultural artifact, not a rational one. So we really need a rational guide to help us assess what our conscience tells us. In the West some complicated combination of utilitarianism and Kant seems to work. For me the concept of compassion is the best guide. Whether or not good and bad are absolutes in the frame of things is problematic, but we c... [More]
Comment icon #37 Posted by Junior Chubb on 4 March, 2013, 14:40
That's always a good way to proceed (and how I like to think I appoach situations), but again yields varyingly wild results depending on the individual. For me the way to proceed from here would be to wish you a good day...
Comment icon #38 Posted by Silver Surfer on 10 March, 2013, 9:11
Absolute gibberish, a very confused person.

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