Wild horses were a crucial food source for Neanderthals who lived in central Slovakia more than 40,000 years ago, a study has revealed.
The researchers from Comenius University, in Bratislava, based their findings on analysis of more than 11,500 animal bones, fragments and teeth left by the Neanderthals who lived around the Prepoštská cave in Bojnice.
Thomas Čeklovský, a doctoral student of paleontology in the university’s Faculty of Natural Sciences, worked with other experts to cast fresh light on the dietary habits of Neanderthals who lived in the area.
Their diet was found to comprise mainly wild horses (Equus cf. Germanicus), as well as furred rhinoceros (Coelodonta antiquitatis), bison (Bison priscus), aurochs (Bos primigenius), a large species of deer (Megaloceros giganteus), reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) and the comparatively rare furred mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius).
The researchers also found some remains of cave lions (Panthera spelaea) and bear (Ursus sp.). They also found remains from badgers and hares, along with rodents, birds, snakes and frogs.
The evidence pointed to organized hunting by the Neanderthals. [...] horsetalk.co.nz / Link 2 / Link 3 (Slovak)