Neanderthal humans were carnivores, studies of fossilized teeth have found

 Neanderthal humans were carnivores, studies of fossilized teeth have found


Scientists have learned from the study of the teeth of many animal fossils what kind of food they ate. Many fossil studies of dinosaurs have made similar revelations. But new research has been done on the teeth of Neanderthal humans, with the surprising result that they were Neanderthal carnivores. While the omnivorous category of animals has been considered since the beginning of human history. Neanderthals have also long been debated as to whether they were herbivores or carnivores.

The debate is still going on.of scientists

In fact, the debate has been going on for a long time and is still going on whether Neanderthals were really carnivores. However, the examination of tartar in the teeth of some individuals from the Iberian Peninsula shows that Neanderthals ate a lot of plants. While studies outside of Iberia show that they eat almost nothing but meat.

of new technology

Using new analytical techniques on molar teeth, researchers have now shown that Gabasa, a Neanderthal in space, was a carnivore. The study by CNRS researchers is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Until now, to know an animal’s position in the food chain, scientists extract protein from bone marrow and analyze the nitrogen present in it.

Limitations of old technology,

But this technique can only be used in temperate climates, and is rarely used in samples older than 50,000 years. When these fold conditions are not there. Then the analysis of nitrogen isotopes is very complicated, or even impossible. The same happened with the teeth found in the analysis of the Gabasa site in this study.

For the first time in experiments on Neanderthals

With these limitations, CNRS researcher Clavia Jovin and her colleagues decided to analyze the ratio of zinc isotopes in tooth enamel. This mineral resists all forms of fragmentation. This is the first time this technique has been used to identify a Neanderthal dose. Low zinc isotope abundance in bones means the organism is more likely to be a carnivore.

of other animals

Bones were also analysed. The analysis was also carried out on the bones of several animals of the period that lived in the same geographical area, including some herbivores such as rabbits and sambar and carnivores such as wolves and wolves. According to these results, the Neanderthal teeth found at Gabassa belonged to a carnivore that did not drink the blood of its prey.


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