Neanderthal HuntAncient Predators: A Guide to Neanderthal Hunting

Archaeologists and anthropologists agree that Neanderthals were accomplished hunters, but what was the source of their skills? How did they catch and butcher their prey, and with what tools and techniques?

The answers, these experts say, lie in archaeological record. It contains a range of hints about Neanderthal hunting habits — including their remains, tools and trash — this record reveals that Neanderthals drove or threw their spears into their prey simultaneously and in specially selected strategic areas, painting a complex picture of our closest cousins livelihood strategies.

Who were the Neanderthals?

Although there is only one species hominin today we were not always alone in the world. From the origin of our species, Homo sapiens, until about 40,000 years ago we walked together with several similar people, including Homo neanderthalensis.

Read more: Who were the Neanderthals?

Also known as Neanderthals, H. neanderthalensis individuals were stocky, broad-shouldered and big-brainedallowing them to experience some of the the coldest climates in Europe since the Ice Age. And they appear in the archaeological record about 100,000 years before our own species, or thereabouts 400,000 years agothey coincided with modern H. sapiens for millennia until their sudden disappearance.

Why did the Neanderthals disappear?

Although the cause of their extinction remains in doubt, today’s archaeologists and anthropologists generally do not believe theory that Neanderthals were exterminated by our own species and our own species alone. Away from rude people that they once were it is believed to bemore discoveries demonstrate that Neanderthals exhibited advanced adaptive behavior that basically refutes the idea that the superiority of H. sapiens destroy them.

Read more: Why did the Neanderthals disappear?

Instead, today’s leading theories argue that several dynamics played a role in the species’ extinction about 40,000 years ago, with climate change, diseases, demographic weaknesses and interspecies competition and assimilation all contribute to decline.

What did Neanderthals hunt?

Needless to say, Neanderthals have found enough evidence of their activities in the period before their extinction, allowing archaeologists and anthropologists to detail and I describe the ways in which they survived.

Although Neanderthals were omnivorous, according to their anatomy, experts suspect they ate more meat than anything, thanks to the scarcity of plants in their cool climate. Actually, on chemical composition on several skeletons maintains the species’ affinity for animal food.

Read more: What animals did early humans primarily hunt?

Their favorites included reindeer and red deeralthough Neanderthals also ate an assortment of other significant species, including horses, bison, bulls, mammoths and woolly rhinos. And studies show that Neanderthals even slaughtered elephants with straight tuskswhich were so huge that they would support up to 100 individuals for a whole month (if that extensive groups of Neanderthals even existedIt is).

What hunting tools did Neanderthals use?

With species as significant as their goals, specialists say that it is implausible that Neanderthals destroyed their prey without weapons. And the discovery of sharpened sticks at several sites associated with the species suggest that the spear was the weapon of choice for Neanderthals.

Some copies were covered with wood while something else copies were covered with pointed stones. But whatever their material or their production method, there is strong support for the idea that Neanderthals used these weapons against animals. Aged Neanderthal animal carcasses display damage in accordance with the size and shape of the tips of their spears.

A detailed analysis of these damages shows that the Neanderthals draw their weapons towards their prey, driving the tips of their spears directly into their targets. However, some specialists are beginning to suggest that Neanderthals as well they threw down their spears (and is maintained trauma in the arms and shoulders as a result of repeated throwing).

What hunting techniques did Neanderthals use?

Whether they threw their weapons in the air, archaeologists and anthologists point out that Neanderthals’ propensity for javelins would have worked well for ambushing disadvantaged animals. In fact, some research say that Neanderthals pursued prey in specially selected areas, such as ditches, depressions and blind spots, where they were easier to slaughter.

remains at these sites suggest that Neanderthals oscillated between selective and non-selective approaches. Although they sometimes targeted certain species and individuals in some places, they also killed every creature they could catch before selecting the best of the bunch to slaughter and consume.

In general, their approach to hunting relied heavily on the “natural traps” in their terrain. It also depends on close cooperation, with entire teams of individuals working together to kill their prey. (Experts say(for example, that slaughtering a single straight-tusked elephant would involve an impressive number of Neanderthals, let alone three to five days of slaughter with 25 individuals involved in the preparation process.)

According to some research, the amount of meat Neanderthals could gather at one time suggests that the species prepared and preserved food for future meals. Still, whether or not they possessed this special skill, experts emphasize that Neanderthal subsistence mechanisms were certainly far more complex than once thought.

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