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Home / Science / The Pitter Patter of Tiny Neanderthal Feet Echo found over time as footprints in France

The Pitter Patter of Tiny Neanderthal Feet Echo found over time as footprints in France



They went for a walk and perhaps played along the beach in a prehistoric world; We know this because archaeologists in France have discovered hundreds of Neanderthals, most of them left by children. Do we find in their tracks that Neanderthals were more like modern humans than previously thought? Have we underestimated our old cousins?

Archaeologists in Le Rozel on the coast of northwestern France in Manche in Normandy have discovered 257 Neanderthal footprints. The scientists are surprised that most of the prints were made by children.

  Excavations in Le Rozel have found what researchers say are Neanderthal footprints. (Photo: Dominique Cliquet / Haaretz)

Excavations in Le Rozel have found out what research holds for Neanderthals. (Photo: Dominique Cliquet / Haaretz

In 1856, a series of ancient bones was discovered in a limestone quarry in the Neandertal near Dusseldorf, including an oval skull with a low, receding forehead and pronounced forehead crests Scientists belonging to a deformed human, but after a few weeks, the cent fell that they had discovered an early human ancestor and that the species was given the name Homo neanderthalensis.

Neanderthal ancestors left Africa 500,000 years ago modern humans and were in Europe when our ancestors made the same journey some 70,000 years ago, it is believed that Neanderthals disappeared about 40,000 years ago, but now archaeologists have landed in Le Rozel on the North West coast of Manche in Normandy 257 Traces of Neanderthals discovered What scientists are surprised about is, d the most impressions of children were made.

  We follow in the footsteps of our prehistoric relatives. (EmotionPhoto / AdobeStock)

We follow in the footsteps of our prehistoric relatives. (EmotionPhoto / AdobeStock)

Traces of a Lost Species

This year, a scientific essay in Quaternary Science Reviews stated that before Le Rozel only a group of 62,000 years old was Neanderthal footprint ever been found in Romania. Then, in 2018, a series of fossil footprints were discovered in an ancient sand dune in Gibraltar on the Iberian Peninsula, which were thought to have been left by one of the "last Neanderthals ever to walk the earth."

  Neanderthal (Homo neanderthalensis) footprint in the Natural History Museum in Prague. (Claire H / CC BY SA 2.0)

Neanderthal (Homo neanderthalensis) footprint in the Natural History Museum in Prague. (Claire H / CC BY SA 2.0 )

Le Rozel exposed the coastal erosion for the first time in France in 1967. The site has been exposed every three months since 2012. "Footprints" is by far the largest group of fossil hominin footprints ever found, with some of the footprints in individual sections, others in a series of steps, with one footprint at a time.

  Footprints found in Le Rozel. (Photo: Dominique Cliquet / Haaretz)

Photo of the fossilized footprints found in Le Rozel. (Photo: Dominique Cliquet / Haaretz

The New In a publication published in PNAS by Dr. Jérémy Duveau of the Museum of National History in Paris and colleagues, it is said that at this time no other hominin species than Neanderthals lived in the area of ​​Le Rozel Types of st supported One of the tools they found was, according to the newspaper, "typical of the then Neanderthals." The scientists k They concluded that this particular group contained at least four Neanderthals, but more likely up to 13 to account for all footprints.

Were Neanderthals bigger than we think?

The researchers say that the first and most important indicator that these imprints were Neanderthals was the shape of the foot, which is flatter and "less graceful" than ours. Of the 257 footprints registered, 88 were complete and 11.4 to 28.7 centimeters (4.5 to 11.3 inches) long, indicating that the Neanderthals were 74 centimeters (2 feet, 5 inches high) ) to 185 centimeters (6 feet, 1 inch) inches) – children and adults.

  Partial skeleton of a Neanderthal child. (Ryan Somma / CC BY SA 2.0)

Partial skeleton of a Neanderthal child. (Ryan Somma / CC BY SA 2.0 )

The scientists found that the average height within this group of Neanderthals was 175 centimeters (5 feet, 7 inches) compared to the modern one Homo sapiens on average about 5 feet, 9 inches. These measurements, according to a New Scientist (19459005) report (19459006), are consistent with the average size of a man in the US, suggesting that Neanderthals may have been "larger than previous evidence suggests" (19659030). Crabs on a Beach Leave Many Prints

The measured sizes of the footprints showed that "more than half of the inmates were shorter than 130 centimeters (4 feet, 3 inches) tall," suggesting that between 80 and 90 percent The children were children under the age of 2 -old's pressure measuring only 11.4 inches in length.

However, caution should be extended to the recommended group size of 13 based on the number of shelves, as each of you who has children knows that they can be like beach crabs when they move on their own -Fro with the flood. In practice, a child leaves many imprints for anyone left by an adult. However, taking into account these and other variables, the research team believes that most children in the group are "reasonable".

  The footprints describe a group of several children with few adults. (Public Domain)

The footprints describe a group of several children with some adults. Public Domain )

These new results were compared to another Neanderthal group living in the Northern Spain Northern Normandy cave system some 48,000 years ago in the El Sidrón cave system, where researchers performed mitochondrial genetic analyzes and found seven adults, three adolescents, two children and one child – this is clearly a much higher proportion of adults to children.

Top Image: Archaeologists have discovered hundreds of traces of Neanderthals in France, mostly by children, some 80,000 years ago. (trendobjects / AdobeStock)

By Ashley Cowie


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