Early humans hibernate to cope with cold winters

Early humans knew how winters happen.

Gardet reported that new evidence suggests humans living in Europe about half a million years ago that they may have dealt with extreme cold by hibernating for months.

Fossils dug from an ancient mass grave in northern Spain showed months of disrupted bone development – similar to wounds found on the remains of hibernating mammals such as cave bears, the researchers wrote in a paper published in the journal “L’Enthropologie”.

Human bones – which date back more than 400,000 years ago and were probably from early Neanderthals – our ancestors slowed their metabolism and slept during harsh winters “to avoid harsh conditions and food shortages,” scientists he said.

Experts wrote, “A strategy of hibernation would be the only remedy for them to spend months in caves.”

According to the paper, the region half a million years ago did not provide our predecessors with enough “fat-rich” foods to survive the winter – “making them resort to cave hibernation”, the paper states.

Ancient humans found themselves “in metabolic conditions that helped to survive long-term in manic conditions with limited supplies of food and adequate reserves of body fat,” the scientists wrote.

Bones were excavated from the Sima de los Hussos cave, also known as the “pit of bones” – one of the most important fossil sites in the world.

The remains of a hibernating cave bear were also found in the Cyma pit.


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