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Neanderthals with feathers in their hair

25 February 2011

At www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41721082/ns/technology_and_science-science/ …. scientists digging at the Grotto of Smoke in North Italy have found some intriguing evidence. There are a lot of Neanderthal bones in the cave – and 660 bones belonging to 22 species of birds (with cut and scrape marks it is alleged). The birds include falcons, vultures, Alpine choughs, and wood pigeons. It is assumed that as there were Neanderthal bones present they were responsible for the capture and killing of the birds and as falcons and vultures are not on polite peoples menus they must have wanted their feathers. If so, that must mean they wished to adorn themselves with them. I don't know if this kind of thinking line is legitimate as it is being presented in the press as a logical conclusion. Is it? In addition, what else might have killed the birds and how else might they have found their way into the Grotto – a cave? Why choose one explanation and go full hide for leather? The answer of course is that there are some anthropologists keen to prove Neanderthals were clever and another group of anthropologists intent to prove they were dense. I assume that by sticking feathers in your hair is a sign that Neanderthals were aware of themselves – and who knows, they might even have had rudimentary mirrors. It says more about anthropologists than it does about Neanderthals. It is just as likely they were eaten – but if so how were the birds killed? There are a range of possibilities in a catastrophic scenario.

Meanwhile, at http://dailynews.mcmaster.ca/story.cfm?id=3637 … it is said that a giant ape up to ten feet tall, a sort of super gorilla, lived alongside humans in SE Asia between one million and 300,000 years ago, a large part of the Pleistocene era. The university report says the dates are reliable as they used high precision absolute dating methodology involving electron spin resonance and uranium species. Whatever, gigantopithecus lived at the same time as Homo erectus

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