Neanderthals may have been driven to cannibalism by rapid climate change

neanderthals effective healthcare compassion x
Male and female Neanderthals in the Neanderthal Museum, Mettmann, Germany. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

New research published [April 2019] in the Journal of Archaeological Science suggests the crushing impact of the Last Interglacial Period, also known as the Eemian period, forced Neanderthals into cannibalism. This era of prehistory, between 128,000 to 114,000 years ago, saw global temperatures rise to about 2 degrees Celsius higher that the average global temperature in the 20th century.

Warmer conditions might sound like a welcome respite for the Neanderthals, but the change was likely very disruptive. Neanderthals had lived in Eurasia for hundreds of thousands of years prior to the Last Interglacial Period, and they were well adapted to the ice age conditions. The resulting changes to the plant and animal life were not necessarily for the better.

Related article:  Cancer and heart disease contagious? It's possible, through the microbiome, researchers argue

At least six Neanderthal individuals found in the [Braume Moula-Guercy] cave—two adults, two teens, and two children—were cannibalized, as evidenced by cut marks made by stone tools, signs of complete bodily dismemberment.

Importantly, the “cannibalism highlighted at Baume Moula-Guercy is not a mark of bestiality or sub-humanity,” the authors wrote. Rather, the data points to a “short and single episode of survival [cannibalism] in response to nutritional stress induced by rapid and radical environmental changes.”

Read full, original post: Climate Change Drove Neanderthals to Cannibalism, New Research Suggests

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Nigeriacotton

Video: We can ‘finally’ grow GMOs—Nigerian farmer explains why developing countries need biotech crops

Nigerian farmer Patience Koku discusses the GMO crop trials she is conducting on her farm, and why growers can "rise ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
breastfeeding bed x facebook x

Infographic: We know breastfeeding helps children. Now we know it helps mothers too

When a woman becomes pregnant, her risk of type 2 diabetes increases for the rest of her life, perhaps because ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend