Scars left on bones could have come from hungry reptiles instead of Stone Age butchery, researchers say
Y. Sahle et al/PNAS 2017
Recent reports of African and North American animal fossils bearing stone-tool marks from being butchered a remarkably long time ago may be a crock. Make that a croc.
Crocodile bites damage animal bones in virtually the same ways that stone tools do, say paleoanthropologist Yonatan Sahle of the University of Tübingen in Germany and his colleagues. Animal bones allegedly cut up for meat around 3.4 million years ago in East Africa (SN: 9/11/10, p. 8) and around 130,000 years ago in what’s now California (SN: 5/27/17, p. 7) come from lakeside and coastal areas. Those are places where crocodiles could have wreaked damage now mistaken for butchery, the scientists report online the