A new study has discovered that Neanderthals were able to hunt in a smart and sophisticated way. Researchers studies that remain of prehistoric animals which suggest the early humans were smarter than what they were perceived to be.
How To Hunt Like A Neanderthal
In the study that was published in the journal, Nature Ecology and Evolution, the researchers found that the Neanderthals used specific hunting techniques that were advanced to stalk and kill their prey. The team collected their evidence from two prehistoric deer bones that are over 1,200,000 years. The bones from the deer showed cut marks, or hunting lesions, that provide the earliest "smoking gun" evidence that weapons were used on animals.
The microscopic images and ballistic experiments that reduced the impact of blows confirmed that at least one of the blows that were delivered by a wooden spear at a lower velocity. The study authors suggest that this may mean the Neanderthals could have used ambush tactics to kill their prey.
The researchers continued that this type of hunting would require careful planning and concealment and the cooperation of others involved.
"The study demonstrates that Neanderthals hunted prey and sheds light on their hunting strategies, such as the kinds of prey they exploited, whether throwing or thrusting was employed, and in what kinds of habitat they hunted," Professor Annemieke Milks, from the University College-London stated.
When The Neanderthals Ruled The World
The deer bones used in the experiment were found in Eastern Germany, on the shore of Lake Neumark-Nord. The bones were dug up 20 years ago, but new technology has allowed scientists to do more research on the bones. Researchers were able to find how lethal the injuries were, the type of weapons that were used, and if the spears were thrown from a distance or in close range.
Hominins, which is a term used to describe the early human species, began hunting with weapons, more than half-a-million years ago, the researchers state.
Neanderthals resided in Europe for 300,000 years before becoming overtaken by the human race and dying out. The authors of the study continued that it was believed that Neanderthals were not smart and lacked skills basic humans had.
The new findings now show that the Neanderthals were, in fact, intelligent by how they buried their dead, created their tools, and by the painting of animals on cave walls.
Neanderthals and humans are closely related, sharing 99.7 percent of their DNA.