Researchers: Cavemen feasted on lions

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Waiting in line at the drive-through may be a drag, but it sure beats what our ancestors had to do for fast food. Try take-out lion. A Spanish team reports Neanderthals likely hunted and ate a big cat at a cave site.

In the current Journal of Archaeological Science, a team led by Ruth Blasco of the Universitat Rovira i Virgili in Tarragona, Spain, describes lion bones found at the Gran Dolina site in Sierra de Atapuerca. The cave contains hundreds of animal bones, largely red deer and horses, but also a few carnivores in rock layers dating to 250,000 to 350,000 years ago.

One set of lion bones stands out among the other carnivores like foxes and bears. "The relatively high occurrence of cutmarks on lion bones (11.76%) indicates an association between hominids (humans) and this predator," says the study, adding, "cutmarks related to the skinning and defleshing are identified and the human use of bone marrow is documented by diagnostic elements of anthropogenic (man-made) breakage. All these evidences suggest that the lion was used for food."...

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