Neanderthal hunters killed and ate a cave lion about 40,000 years ago

Cave lion.
Cave lion. Screenshot from video at base of article.

Eurasian cave lions were bigger than the modern-day African lion and they were hunted to extinction about 11,000 BC. They prowled Europe and it is hard to imagine.

And about 40,000 years ago the Neanderthals lived in Europe and they would be forced to encounter the cave lion from time to time. This impressive animal weighed about a third of a tonne. It was the apex predator of that time.

The Neanderthal was a type of human quite closely related to Homo sapiens. This species of human vanished about 40,000 years ago. It’s believed that they were reasonably intelligent, able to make tools and that they were skilled hunters.

New evidence has shed some light on how they dealt with cave lions. The study was led by Gabriele Russo of Tübingen University in Germany. It is published in Scientific Reports.

The study researchers unearthed in Siegsdorf, Bavaria the skeleton of a cave lion. One of its ribs showed signs of damage from a weapon.

They believed that it was probably a wooden spear and there were cut marks suggesting that the lion was butchered and eaten.

The study reveals that the Neanderthal was able to kill this impressive race of lions but perhaps this particular individual was past its prime and had been driven from his pride which made it more vulnerable.

Until this latest evidence came to light, The Times tells me that the “earliest evidence for humans interacting with lions related to homo sapiens. It included a small ivory figure of a lion man card about 40,000 years ago and found in a cave in Germany’s Swabian Alps.”

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Post Category: Cats