A recent study has uncovered the seafood-rich diet of Neanderthals who lived near a seaside cave in present-day Portugal around 90,000 years ago. The finding challenges the long-standing notion that seafood consumption, rich in brain-enhancing omega-3 fatty acids, was unique to Homo sapiens.
At the Gruta da Figueira Brava site, shells of mussels, limpets and clams were found, but brown crab remains were particularly abundant. Neanderthals primarily hunted larger adult crabs with shells around 6.3 inches wide, providing about 7 ounces of crabmeat per crab. Burn marks on the shells showed that the crabs were roasted on hot coals.
This discovery highlights the adaptability of Neanderthals, who were not just big-game hunters but also consumed a variety of food including seafood and plants. Previous studies have also shown their prowess in hunting and cooking large game and plant-based meals.
FingerLakes1.com is the region’s leading all-digital news publication. The company was founded in 1998 and has been keeping residents informed for more than two decades. Have a lead? Send it to [email protected].