01 December 2008

Neanderthals and marine mammals at Gibraltar

A recent study in two coastal sites in Gibraltar provides evidence that Neanderthals were exploiting marine mammals and other coastal resources such as molluscs and fishes.

Regarding marine mammals, authors have found evidence that Neanderthals may be eating monk seals, common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins.

This finding suggests hunting practices targeting marine mammals.

Silvia Bonizzoni


The photo (from Stringer et al. 2008) shows human-induced damage on monk seal proximal hind limb phalanx.

For more information:
Stringer C.B., Finlayson J.C., Barton R.N.E., Fernandez-Jalvo Y., Caceres I., Sabin R.C., Rhodes E.J., Currant A.P., Rodriguez-Vidal J., Giles-Pacheco F., Riquelme-Cantal J.A. 2008. Neanderthal exploitation of marine mammals in Gibraltar. PNAS 105(38): 14319-14324.

http://www.csic.es/ (in Spanish)

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