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Prehistoric Scratchpad

A cave in the Netherland that contains Neanderthal fossils dated to 36,000, though they were probably over 40,000 years old. Dental plaque DNA revealed a diet of woolly rhinoceros and European wild sheet, supplemented with mushrooms. This contrasted with a vegetarian diet found at another site. Dental studies show women and men differed in some tasks performed.

Spy Cave Web Pages[]


  • Order Primates (Primates) - Mammals with long arms.
    • Family Homonidae (Homonids)
      • Genus Homo (Homo) - The human genus.
        • Species Neanderthal (Neanderthals) - The closest known extinct species to humans.

Spy Cave In the News[]

Neanderthal Groups Based Part of their Lifestyle on Sexual Division of Labor (2015)[]

Studies based on the wear of teeth show that men and women performed some different tasks.
See also Neanderthals, El Sidron Cave, L'Hortus, Spy Cave

Dental plaque DNA shows Neanderthals used 'asperin' (2017)[]

DNA in dental plaque reveals what Neanderthals ate. Some were mostly carnivores, while others were vegetarian. A sick Neanderthal seems to have used local herbs to heal himself. Microbial DNA suggests humans and Neanderthals swapped mouth bacteria long after the species had diverged.
See also Neanderthals, Spy Cave, El Sidron Cave