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In the beginning: Neanderthal child eaten by giant bird 100,000 years ago

About 115,000 years ago in what is now present-day Poland, a large bird ate a child. And thus began The Bird War.
Photo by PAP/Jacek Bednarczyk.


POLAND -- If you thought The Bird War was recently hatched, you'd be dead wrong -- as dead as a Neanderthal child eaten by a large bird 100,000 years ago.

According to research conducted in 2018, hand bones of a Neanderthal child, had clearly been digested by a large bird. The public information service Science in Poland described the small bone fragments — each no longer than a centimeter — that were found in Cave Cinema, in southwestern Poland. At 115,000 years old, the bones are the oldest human remains ever found in the country.

According to Inverse.com, Study co-author and Jagiellonian University professor Pawel Valde-Nowak, Ph.D., told Science in Poland that “analyses show that this is a result of passing through the digestive system of a large bird.” This theory is supported by the fact that the bones are covered in dozens of holes. The child is believed to have been between five to seven years old at the time of the attack.

Scientists are unsure whether the bird could have attacked and partially consumed the child or fed upon the child’s corpse, gaining a taste for human ... and beginning The Bird War.

According to Smithsonian Magazine, "there’s actually somewhat of a rich history of avian hunters gobbling up children. Just a few years ago, researchers found evidence that the Maori legend of Te Hokioi, a giant eagle that snatched children, was likely based on a real species as well. CT scans of the bones of the large Haast eagle, which went extinct in New Zealand about 500 years ago, showed that it was a predator, not a scavenger, and had talons strong enough to pierce a human pelvis."

Of course, today there are daily instances of birds attacking people. We call it The Bird War.

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