CSI: Neanderthal Family Massacre

By Carl Zimmer | December 21, 2010 12:35 am

In Tuesday’s New York Times, I have an article about an unlucky group of Neanderthals, massacred and cannibalized 50,000 years ago. Through some detective work, scientists have determined that they were members of an extended family. Here’s the paper (open access) if you want the gory details. While the interpretation the scientists present is not embraced by all the experts I contacted, they are excited at the prospect of this kind of fine-grained Neanderthal DNA sequencing. Of course, the lecture I gave last week now feels short a slide or two!

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Evolution, Writing Elsewhere

Comments (4)

Links to this Post

  1. Una Familia Neandertal muerta. | Pablo Della Paolera | December 21, 2010
  1. Stephen Dost

    Amazing. And great lecture, by the way–I’m prepping a documentary that will touch on some Neanderthal stories based on Steve Churchill’s research, so this was a great intro to what’s been discovered recently.

    Thanks for posting.

  2. ENT-TT

    Holiday banquets do tend to take on a heavier air when you spend a lot of family time together ritually consuming the flesh of your dead relatives.
    “Grandma got picked over by my uncle, and Marcus wouldn’t leave us any Steve.”
    If you think your dinner conversation is awkward…

  3. ChH

    Apparently people have been playing rugby for a lot longer than 150 years.


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The Loom

A blog about life, past and future. Written by DISCOVER contributing editor and columnist Carl Zimmer.

About Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer writes about science regularly for The New York Times and magazines such as DISCOVER, which also hosts his blog, The LoomHe is the author of 12 books, the most recent of which is Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.


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