In Portuguese cave of Figueira Brava discovered evidence that up to half of the diet of the local Neanderthals were marine fish, shellfish, birds and mammals, they write in Science. It makes you doubt that Homo sapiens gained an intellectual advantage over Homo neanderthalensis thanks to eating seafood rich in fatty acids.
A number of anthropologists suggests that the remarkable intelligence of our species appeared due to the special metabolism of fatty acids, which could contribute to the development of a large brain, and even allowed him to come out of Africa. Omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids are particularly numerous in marine organisms — both plants and animals.
There is already some evidence that Homo sapiens about 160 thousand years ago began to frequently eat fish and seafood. They are mainly in Africa. Were such foods in the diet of Neanderthals, until now did not know. Even if they were associated with the sea, in most parts of Europe evidence of this link could not be saved: there are about 110 000 years ago covered the glacier.
The exception was a narrow strip of land on the territory of modern Portugal. Now there is the national Park of Arrabida. There in the cave of Figueira Brava close to the sea excavated by the archaeologists from several European countries, led by Juan Silanol (João Zilhão) from the University of Barcelona. They analyzed the composition of coal from this cave was determined, who owns the bones found there, determined their age.
It turned out that the animal remains from Figueira Brava 86 000-100 000 years, that is, they appeared before the last glaciation, the interglacial period. Among them are found the bones and terrestrial animals (horses, deer, tours), and marine mammals (dolphins and seals), as well as fish, turtles, bivalve molluscs (e.g. sea platter), sea birds (cormorants, auks, olusa).