Many have been the hypotheses that have been considered in recent decades to explain the disappearance of Neanderthals. Some scientists and anthropologists point to reproductive difficulties and the accumulation of hereditary defects. Other scholars, to the social isolation of the different groups of these primitive humans, far from the sociability and grouping of the "Sapiens”.
- Neanderthals may have been hunted and eaten by homo sapiens
And still with everything competition for game and resources between both species (in which the Neanderthals would have lost due to the inability to adapt) seemed the background and the most plausible hypothesis.
However, a group of Spanish scientists have proposed a new theory about the extinction of that group of cave humans, anthropophagy. Thus, according to the latest study by two Spanish researchers from the Institute of Human Paleoecology and Social Evolution (IPHES), the first Homo sapiens would have hunted the isolated groups of Neanderthals moved by cannibalism.
The paleontologists Welcome Martínez-Navarro and Policarp Hortolà, defend this novel hypothesis in the magazine 'Quaternary International', Where they explain that Neanderthals were one more hunting prey of our species, either as food or as a method to end competition in times of scarcity.
«We believe that they were hunted as game pieces, like mammoths or as gorillas or chimpanzees still are, which are from our taxonomic family. And the same phenomenon could also occur each time a more advanced 'Homo' species overlapped another that was less so, such as' erectus' or 'floresiensis«, points out Policarp Hortolá.
The explanation of this supposed phenomenon of extreme cannibalism It is due, according to scientists, to megafauna is more difficult to extinguish than small. In a drastic climate change like those that occurred in the Quaternary, those fauna with low population indices were extinguished by hunting.
By having few individuals and if they reproduced infrequently, indiscriminate hunting could kill an entire species in a few generations. The latest studies suggest that mammoths became extinct precisely because of this cluster of factors, so it is likely that the same thing happened to Neanderthals.
In presenting the study, the researchers recalled that homo sapiens reached the European continent with a technology superior to that of Neanderthals and they used much more sophisticated hunting techniques, because they were more social and numerous than Neanderthals.
Homo sapiens was and is an excellent predator, which hunts and consumes everything that is likely to be and also, feeding on the other human species, managed to end competition and monopolize the apex of predation.
There is still no deposit in the world that can serve to test this theory. If, however, bones of neanderthal with signs of cannibalism, albeit from their own fellows.
Cannibalism It has also been present in our species and anthropophagous acts have been dated very closely. This being the case, anthropologists consider that if we are able to eat members of our own species, we would have had no problem having fed on another species of humans parallel to ours.