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Neanderthals Ate Large Plant Eaters and Vegetarian Foods

Monday, March 14, 2016

Neanderthal diet vegetables TÜBINGEN, GERMANY—Analysis of individual amino acids in collagen from an array of bones found at two sites in Belgium suggests that the Neanderthals' diet differed from that of other predators. “Previously, it was assumed that the Neanderthals utilized the same food sources as their animal neighbors. However, our results show that all predators occupy a very specific niche, preferring smaller prey as a rule, such as reindeer, wild horses, or steppe bison, while the Neanderthals primarily specialized on the large plant-eaters such as mammoths and woolly rhinoceroses,” Hervé Bocherens of the Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment at the University of Tübingen explained in a press release. The study also revealed that about 20 percent of the Neanderthal diet came from vegetarian sources. “We are accumulating more and more evidence that diet was not a decisive factor in why the Neanderthals had to make room for modern humans,” he added. For more, go to "Decoding Neanderthal Genetics."

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