BUNNY TRAIL Fossils from southern European sites indicate that ancient relatives of humans hunted small, fast animals as early as around 400,000 years ago. Ends of rabbit bones (shown) were probably snapped off to remove marrow.
In Europe, Stone Age hominids began adding small, fast animals to their menus much earlier than previously thought, scientists say.
Now-extinct members of the human genus, Homo, hunted rabbits and, to a lesser extent, hares in southern France and probably other Mediterranean parts of Europe by around 400,000 years ago, researchers report online March 6 in Science Advances. Hunters also bagged larger creatures such as wild goats and deer. The new finding may highlight the flexibility and innovativeness of these ancient relatives of humans.
That dietary shift to smaller animals away from eating primarily large game emerged long before a previously recognized change in ancient humans’ eating habits, concludes a team led by paleoanthropologist Eugène Morin of Trent University in Peterborough, Canada. In the later transition, Stone Age people dramatically broadened what they ate, including a wide variety of small animals, starting around 36,000 years ago.
Read the rest of this article...