The excavation site of the footprint layer in Le Rozel, France.
Photograph: Dominique Cliquet/AFP/Getty Images
Scientists find 257 prints that were preserved in wind-driven sand 80,000 years ago
Scientists have found hundreds of perfectly preserved footprints, providing evidence that Neanderthals walked the Normandy coast in France.
The prints suggest a group of 10-13 individuals, mostly children and adolescents, were on the shoreline 80,000 years ago.
Neanderthals, the closest evolutionary cousins to present-day humans and primates, have long been thought to have lived in social groups, but details have been hard to establish.
The 257 footprints discovered at Le Rozel in western France give a snapshot of how Neanderthals lived and suggest they may have been taller than previously thought.
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