49,000-yr-old Spanish murder site indicates ‘Neanderthals were cannibals’December 22nd, 2010 - 12:50 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, Dec 22 (ANI): Researchers have discovered an ancient mass murder site in Spain that indicates that Neanderthals could have feasted on the bodies of their family members too.
The 49,000 years old site contains butchered remains of 12 men, women, and children who belonged to an extended Neanderthal family and were eaten by their fellow Neanderthals.
After analysing mitochondrial DNA and fragments of Y-chromosomes, they found that the Neanderthals were cannibalised before the ground collapsed beneath their remains and buried them soon after their death.
Additional DNA studies revealed that the members were related to each other genetically, according to lead author Carles Lalueza-Fox of the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (CSIC-UPF) in Barcelona, Spain.
“This looks like a family. It’s similar to what you would find if you went to a wedding and sampled the people in the wedding party. If you sample 12 people in the street, you would never find so many people with the same mtDNA,” Science Now quoted Lalueza-Fox as saying.
“The world of the Neandertal was a very small world. They were in these small family groups. When they met each other, things could go from exchanging females to killing each other-even eating each other,” he added.
However, molecular anthropologist Linda Vigilant of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, believes that the sample is too limited to confirm the theory.
Researchers need to know how often individuals who are not close relatives share mtDNA, as well as to check the findings with nuclear DNA to be sure of their conclusions, she said. (ANI)
- 2 new species of 'leaping' beetles found in New Caledonia - Jan 19, 2011
- Forensic tool developed to track ivory traders - Aug 07, 2012
- Neanderthals could taste bitter flavors just like modern humans - Aug 12, 2009
- Europe was populated by Kashmiris around 40,000 years ago: Study - Apr 03, 2011
- Genome study shows there's a Neanderthal in all of us - May 07, 2010
- Humans And Neanderthals Interbred, Suggest Scientists - May 07, 2010
- First Americans 'reached Europe 500 years before Columbus voyages' - Nov 17, 2010
- Genetic study sheds light on how humans colonised the Pacific - Feb 04, 2011
- Fossils indicate that Humans and Neanderthals inter-bred with each other - May 07, 2010
- Neanderthals ate vegetables, used plants as medicine - Jul 20, 2012
- New 'molecular clock' aids dating of human migration history - Jun 05, 2009
- 'Unknown child' onboard the Titanic identified - Apr 29, 2011
- Heart disease likely to pass from father to son - Feb 09, 2012
- Foolproof way to read ancient DNA samples developed - Jan 01, 2010
- Neanderthal burial ground suggests they practiced funeral rituals - Apr 21, 2011
Tags: 12 men, anthropologist, barcelona spain, cannibals, dna studies, evolutionary biology, family groups, leipzig germany, mass murder, max planck, max planck institute, max planck institute for evolutionary anthropology, mitochondrial dna, neandertal, neanderthals, nuclear dna, saying the world, upf, wedding party, y chromosomes