Skip to comments.Neanderthals lived in groups big enough to eat giant elephants
Posted on 02/08/2023 10:08:41 AM PST by SunkenCiv
On the muddy shores of a lake in east-central Germany, Neanderthals gathered some 125,000 years ago to butcher massive elephants. With sharp stone tools, they harvested up to 4 tons of flesh from each animal, according to a new study that is casting these ancient human relatives in a new light. The degree of organization required to carry out the butchery—and the sheer quantity of food it provided—suggests Neanderthals could form much larger social groups than previously thought.
The find comes from a trove of animal bones and stone tools uncovered in the 1980s by coal miners near the town of Neumark-Nord. Beginning in 1985, archaeologists spent a decade observing the mining work, recovering animal bones and stone tools from a sprawling site. Dating to a relatively warm period in Europe known as the Eemian interglacial... the discoveries include the bones and tusks of more than 70 mostly adult male straight-tusked elephants (Palaeoloxodon antiquus), an extinct species almost twice the size of modern African elephants that stood nearly 4 meters tall at the shoulder. Most had been left in dozens of piles along the ancient lakeshore over the course of about 300 years...
Gouges and scratches on nearly every bone show the hunters were thorough. "They really went for every scrap of meat and fat," says University of Leiden archaeologist and study co-author Wil Roebroeks. The bones hadn't been gnawed by scavengers like wolves or hyenas, suggesting nothing was left for them.
(Excerpt) Read more at science.org ...
...one bite at a time...
One bite at a time.
You beat me by 13 seconds.
Everybody was thinking that one.
Leftover elephant does keep well.
I hope the elephant was distributed equally among the tribe members. Anything else would be unfair and might hurt the feelings of those fat kids who refused to go on the hunt because they wanted to stay warm by the fire.
You have to be QUICK at FR, I learned that a long time ago!
So those huge ribs on The Flintstones were no comic exaggeration.
Ground-breaking study right there! Coming up next! Indians and early American settlers lived in groups big enough to eat large buffalo. Alaskans lived in big enough groups to use every single part of a whale, including the bones. Mid-west settlers lived in big enough groups to grow and consume bushels of corn.
We need new headline writers!
Probably took a good sized group to hunt them effectively.
Maybe it was just one Neanderthal who was really, really hungry. Or was it a contest like the Nathan’s Famous Hotdog eating contest, only with elephants?
“Gus, why the fire so big? You ain’t cooking no Brontosauras Burger, this ain’t the mutha f____ Flintstones!” - Eddie Murphy
“Neanderthals could form much larger social groups than previously thought...”
Or perhaps this was just the location of a McAnderthals franchise that supplied many tribes with mammoth burgers
That’s a lot of jerky.
Groups like that on were the hunters who supplied the ‘groceries’ to still larger groups that lived in their ice cities on the glaciers. Unfortunately, the ice melted and we are left with many puzzles.
How do they know?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.