• H.neand. ate crabs

    From marc verhaegen@21:1/5 to All on Thu Mar 30 02:34:57 2023
    The exploitation of crabs by Last Interglacial Iberian Neanderthals:
    the evidence from Gruta da Figueira Brava (Portugal)
    Mariana Nabais, Catherine Dupont & João Zilhão 2023
    Front.Environ.Archaeol. Sec.Zooarchaeology vol.2
    doi org/10.3389/fearc.2023.1097815

    Hominin consumption of small prey has been much discussed over the past decades.
    Such resources are often considered to be unproductive in the mid-Paleolithic, due to their limited meat yield (low energy return).
    But ethnographic studies suggest: small prey incl.shellfish are a reliable, predictable, by no means marginal resource,
    there is increasing evidence for their inclusion in hominin diets, mid-Paleolithic & even earlier.

    Gruta da Figueira Brava features a MIS 5c-5b Neanderthal occupation that left behind substantial, human-accumulated terrestrial & marine faunal remains, capped by reworked levels that contain some naturally accumulated, recent Holocene material, namely
    the remains of small crab spp & echinoderms.
    The brown crab Cancer pagurus predominates in the intact mid-Paleolithic deposit,
    reconstruction of its carapace width (based on regression from claw size) shows a preference for rel.large individuals.
    The detailed analysis of the Cancer pagurus remains reveals:
    complete animals were brought to the site, where they were roasted on coals, and then cracked open to access the flesh.

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