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Oldest evidence of Neanderthals hunting cave lions dates to 48,000 years ago, punctured bones reveal


Neanderthals butchering the freshly killed cave lion from Siegsdorf.  (Image credit: Graphics by Julio Lacerda. ©NLD)

Scientists have identified what could be the earliest evidence of Neanderthals killing a cave lion, likely by creeping up behind it while it was resting and stabbing it in the abdomen, ancient bones uncovered in Germany reveal.

A puncture wound in one of the lion’s ribs indicates the weapon pierced vital organs before getting lodged in the animal’s chest. The hunt took place about 48,000 years ago, during the Middle Paleolithic (300,000 to 30,000 years ago).

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