Neanderthal kid got chomped by a giant bird

It’s not quite caveman versus dinosaur, but LiveScience has new research on a Neanderthal child’s bones from Poland’s Ciemna Cave that got digested by a giant bird, either before or after the kid died 115,000 years ago:

Either way, it appears that the child’s phalanges (finger bones) passed “through the digestive system of a large bird,” Paweł Valde-Nowak, a professor of archaeology at Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland, said in a statement. “This is the first such known example from the ice age.”

Until now, the oldest known human remains in Poland were three Neanderthal molars from Stajnia Cave that dated to between 52,000 and 42,000 years ago.

An analysis of the newly analyzed finger bones revealed that the child was likely between the age of 5 and 7 when he or she died, Valde-Nowak said. The 0.4-inch-long (1 centimeter) bones themselves are porous, and dotted with dozens of strainer-like holes, he added.

…”[W]e have no doubts that these are Neanderthal remains, because they come from a very deep layer of the cave, a few meters [yards] below the present surface,” Valde-Nowak said. “This layer also contains typical stone tools used by the Neanderthal.”

[via Archaeological News]