I’m doing an elk-calf mortality study in Yellowstone National Park. We can differentiate between scavenging and predation only by such evidence as signs of struggle at the scene, a trail of blood, evidence of a chase, and the pattern of flesh wounds. We cannot make the determination based on bone-consumption pattern alone. Therefore, I question that the researchers in this article can be certain that the hominids were killed by large predators and not merely scavenged by them.

Shannon Barber
University of Minnesota
St. Paul, Minn