A Neandertal child devoured by a giant bird? | Discovery

We have spoken on more than one occasion in life millions of years ago and how humans faced much harder living conditions , and often terrifying, of what we can imagine today. We want to talk to you in the following article of the life of one of those humans, specifically of a Neandertal child who lived and died during the Ice Age.

If life in the Ice Age was more than hard, imagine that we also tell you that during that period there were, in addition to many other dangers, giant birds that ate humans, terrifying truth ?.

Some Polish researchers have recently discovered the remains of a Neanderthal child who, it seems, could have been so lucky and came to pass through the digestive system of one of those fearsome animals.

How was the finding of the Neanderthal child?

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Neanderthal child

In particular were found tiny bones belonging to the fingers, whose size does not exceed one centimeter in length. They were found in Ciemna, a cave located in Poland .

At first these researchers believed that they were animal bones, but when analyzing them they realized that they belonged to a Neanderthal who oscillated between 5 and 7 years of age and the bones dated from 115,000 years ago. Its conservation was not good enough to be able to analyze the DNA, although the clues that they threw did not leave place to doubts to the investigators of its identity.

"We have no doubt that these are Neanderthal remains, because they come from a very deep layer of the cave, a few meters below the current surface. This layer also contains typical stone tools used by the Neanderthal "said Professor Pawel Valde-Nowak of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow in a release .

It seems strange enough to have found the remains of bones of a Neanderthal in Poland, since never before had there been evidence that these humans were in that territory. What is even stranger is knowing that, in addition, those remains have been preserved through the entrails of a unknown animal and really intriguing: a giant bird.

"Only unique fragments of fossil bones belonging to relatives of homo sapiens have survived to this day in Poland," said Valde-Nowak. "We can count the Neanderthal remains found in Poland with the fingers of one hand!"

More remains were found about 100 km north of the Carpathian Mountains, specifically in the Stajnia Cave, but this time it was three teeth. With almost total security, the Neanderthals appeared in Poland about 300,000 years ago, in the same way they appeared in the rest of Europe.

Neanderthal child 1

The other three teeth are found in the Stajnia Cave, located 100 kilometers north of the Carpathian Mountains. The Neanderthals probably appeared in Poland about 300,000 years ago, as they did in the rest of Europe.

What are the evidences of the presence of a giant bird in the remains of the Neanderthal child?

These small fragments of Neanderthal bones were filled with small holes that, according to the researchers who analyzed them, indicated that they had passed through the digestive system of a large bird. The size of the bird is supposed to be large because otherwise it would be unable to gobble up a child, often it was, about 5 or 7 years.

"This is the first known example of the Ice Age," said Valde-Nowak.

What the researchers do not have security is whether the child was persecuted and savagely attacked by that giant bird or, although, the Neanderthal child was already dead when the bird came across his body, which would also indicate that it could be some scavenger species.

In fact, the mere idea of ​​a giant bird eating a 5-year-old child seems, at first glance, implausible. However, today there are also quite surprising predatory birds, although, for our luck, they do not eat children.

History has given us samples of quite terrible species such as the Haast eagle, now extinct, that lived in New Zealand and possessed fierce claws capable of traversing a human pelvis.

So, after all, it must not be very difficult to imagine our relatives of antiquity, like the Neanderthal child from which the remains have been found, protecting themselves from much more terrible predatory species. Surely they were not as helpless as we think, since we know that at that time they were able to hunt large bears to take advantage of their flesh and skins. The problem, as always, is that before a group of people the animals usually attack the weakest members, in this case the children.

What do you think of our article about the remains of a Neanderthal child found among those of an extinct bird that could have been giant? What do you think about that time? It must be hard to survive there, do not you think? Leave us your comments!

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