Neanderthals: Extinction by BBQ?: Page 2

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Neanderthal brains focused more on vision and movement, leaving less room for cognition related to social skills.
Corbis

Of course, this is only suggestive, and not hard evidence that Homo sapiens followed the same pattern as other African predators.

"The only manner to test it is to find direct evidences of modern human eating marks on Neanderthal remains, such as cut or broken marks on bones in ... artifacts made by modern humans," explained Martínez-Navarro.

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So far, the evidence is not quite there, said paleo-ecologist J.R. Stewart of Bournemouth University in the U.K.

"This is interesting because in actual fact, the Neanderthal remains with cut marks are generally found in deposits full of Neanderthal artifacts and not with human artifacts," Stewart said. "This suggests they were eaten by Neanderthals."

That doesn't disprove the hypothesis, either, it just means we'll have to see if any evidence is found to back it up.

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"The idea that humans hunted Neanderthals to extinction as part of the megafaunal extinction is new," said Stewart. "Not that humans killed them all in a 'genocide,' which has already been suggested."

And although Stewart isn't considering the new hypothesis "unlikely," he agreed that all hypotheses "need to be voiced and considered."