Following Neanderthals' footsteps to learn how they lived

Following Neanderthals' footsteps to learn how they livedLike modern humans and primates, Neanderthals -- our closest evolutionary cousins -- are thought to have lived in groups, but their size and composition have been difficult to infer from archeological and fossil remains. Now, though, scientists have reported the discovery of 257 footprints along the Normandy shore in France that were immaculately preserved over 80,000 years, offering major new clues into the social structures of its prehistoric inhabitants. Jeremy Duveau, a doctoral student at France's National Museum of Natural History and one of the study's co-authors, told AFP the footprints were left in muddy soil, then quickly preserved by wind-driven sand when the area was part of a dune system, creating a snapshot in time.




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