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Neanderthal foot bone fossil

Neanderthal foot bone fossil

C036/8870

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Credit

JAVIER TRUEBA / MSF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAVIER TRUEBA / MSF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Neanderthal foot bone fossil, displayed on the palm of a hand. This fossil was excavated at the Atapuerca site in Spain, at the Galeria de las estatuas ('Gallery of the statues'). Researchers have identified the bone as belonging to a Neanderthal, and it is hoped that further bones from the same individual will be found in later excavations. Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) inhabited Europe and western Asia between 230,000 and 29,000 years ago. They did not use complex tools but had mastery of fire and built shelters. It is thought that they had language and a complex social structure, living in small family groups and hunting for food. Photographed in 2017.

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