werewolf, werewolves and lycans

Hunt like a Neanderthal

Our hulking, hirsute cousins are in the news a lot this week. First I reported on the growing of Neanderthal mini-brains in petri dishes, with the end goal being to wire them into little robots that they will then start to control, and now there’s this. Neanderthals killed their prey with spears. We knew that already. But the latest evidence suggests that they didn’t THROW their spears. Instead they jabbed the spears into their prey with both hands maintaining a tight grip on the shafts. This, you will surmise, necessitated them getting close—like, really close—to the animals before they stabbed them.

How do the experts know this is the way the Neanderthals hunted? By examining the bones of animals they killed. Those bones contain cut marks, known as “hunting lesions,” caused by the weapons employed by the hunters. What kind of animals? Deer. (Our Neanderthal cousins had a taste for venison.) And when were these deer killed? About 120,000 years ago. The bones were found on a lakeshore in eastern Germany. The scientists can even tell that the Neanderthals used an underhand stabbing motion, sorta like we’d use to dig a hole with a shovel, on the upswing.

The Evil Cheezman • July 17, 2018

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