Frontlines | Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon: Equals in the Hunt

The hunting prowess of the Neanderthal matched those who supplanted them, the Cro-Magnon, say researchers who have examined ungulate teeth and bones found in a cave in which both types of hominids lived.1 The Grotte XVI in southwestern France contains remains dated from about 65,000 to 12,000 years ago. The study adds to a growing body of evidence that questions the idea that Cro-Magnon displaced Neanderthal because of their superior mental or physical capabilities.

It is thought that Neanderthal occupied the cave until the anatomically modern Cro-Magnon moved in about 35,000 years ago. "We could detect no difference in diet," says study author Donald Grayson, University of Washington. "The animals [that] people were hunting, and the way they were hunting, did not change with the transition from Neanderthal to Cro-Magnon." Large, hoofed animals such as reindeer, red deer, horses, and...

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