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Fossilized Neanderthal Footprints Found in Spain

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

HUELVA, SPAIN—Live Science reports that 87 fossilized footprints discovered on a beach in southern Spain after intense storms and high tides were made some 100,000 years ago by 36 Neanderthal individuals, including a group of 11 children. “We have found some areas where several small footprints appeared grouped in a chaotic arrangement,” said paleontologist Eduardo Mayoral of the University of Huelva. The children may have been playing at a watering hole, he explained. “Probably the water would not have been fresh but somewhat brackish, since we have found evidence of sea salt crystals on the surface where the footprints are found,” he added. Mayoral and his team members photographed the footprints from the air and made 3-D digital scans of each of them. Based upon their size, the team has also identified the prints of five female walkers, 14 males, and six of undetermined sex. The tracks of deer and wild boar were also preserved near the watering hole. Read the original scholarly article about this research in Scientific Reports. To read about a likely Neanderthal footprint found near the Rock of Gibraltar alongside red deer and aurochs tracks, go to "World Roundup: Spain."

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