Here’s how early Neanderthals hunted giant elephants

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Here's how early Neanderthals hunted giant elephants Mammoths were not the largest land animals of the Pleistocene era.

This status has his relative, a straight elephant-tusk (paleoloxodon antique), which weighs up to 13 tons.

This elephant was twice the size of modern African elephants and lived in Asia and Europe approximately 100,000 years ago.

Despite their large size, early Neanderthals were apparently not afraid to hunt these elephants.

Considering Neanderthals’ skill at making tools to fight Paleooxodon alone, fighting such a huge, enraged beast would have been a terrifying experience.

So there is still debate about whether the Neanderthals really consumed paleoloxodon and how they then hunted this elephant?

1. Hunting paleoloxodon elephants

On Sunday (August 27, 2023), a new study led by Prof. Sabina Gaudzinski-Windhäuser of the MONREPOS Archaeological Research Center found bits of paleoloxodon bone, proving that the elephant was part of the Neanderthal diet.

Evidence for this comes from the Neumark-Nord 1 site near Halle, Germany, where 3,122 bones, tusks and teeth were found.

Evidence is believed to come from over 70 straight-tusked elephants that lived about 125,000 years ago.

Gaudzinski-Windhäuser et al found scars on many of the bones that could only have been left by stone tools used to cut meat.

The large number of bones found led researchers to speculate that the elephants were indeed hunted, rather than taking corpses and eating them.

In addition, most of the bones belong to adults. It seems that Neanderthals preferred to hunt male elephants, which weighed twice as much as the largest African elephants, than to hunt herds of female elephants and their cubs.

The authors calculated that it would take a group of Neanderthals several days to slaughter an animal together, let alone completely recycle it.

It is estimated that they will also need 25 people to finish the meat within three months.

However, researchers have calculated that this group of Neanderthals may have lived in larger groups than previously thought.

Research also shows that these ancient people did not hunt for quite a long period of time because they had the skills to dry and freeze meat.

“It is becoming increasingly clear that Neanderthals had a variety of adaptive behaviors that allowed them to thrive in diverse Eurasian ecosystems for over 200,000 years,” said Dr. Britt Starkovich of the University of Tübingen, who was not involved in the study.

These findings were published in Science achievements.

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