Neanderthal Tracks and Lucy’s Cousin

You can learn a lot about a person from looking at his footprints. The discovery of a whopping 257 footprints left by Neanderthals along the Normandy shore in France some 80,000 years ago tells scientists that there was a group of between ten and thirteen individuals, with most of them beings kids and teenagers. There were some adult tracks, too, including some left by males who, the scientists project based on the size of the tracks, would have stood well over six feet tall! (And here I thought Neanderthals were supposed to be short and stocky.) How do they know the prints were left by Neanderthals and not some other (taller) kind of human? Supposedly Neanderthals were the only kind living in that part of the world at that time. The results were published in the PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES.

Also, the skull of a human ancestor older than our cousin Lucy, known affectionately as MRD (couldn’t they have picked a better name than that?), upon reexamination, displays features previously only associated with “younger” pre-humans and may lead to a reevaluation of the human family tree. And speaking of our ancestor Lucy, she may have died as a result of a fall from a tree. Or not. Depends on which scientists you believe.

By The Evil Cheezman

WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (,, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. His first novel, THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER: WEREWOLF, is available for purchase at


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