Re: Salt and Neandertals (Re: Sodium homeostasis... was Re: tears

J.E.Hawcroft (
6 Nov 1995 17:01:01 GMT

Look, about Neanderthals.
1) I expect they would have dried their meats, pulses, legumes, roots and
fat for winter storage. No fresh fruit perhaps but beggars can't be
choosers. And they could probably hunt when they felt like it in winter,
what with all those snuggly furs to wear.
2) Can't you get salt from animal fat? Chimps lick treebark and cows lick
rocks to get at some salt, so you don't need to live near a source.
Moreover, there are plants which would have grown in Ice Age Europe which
contain salt or salt-like stuff (eg coltsfoot). So they would have had
saltiness for seasoning and metabolism, just not for storage (but see
3) Show me the neanderthal dated to 700,000 ya (and I'll laugh).
If you were living in Ice Age Europe I think salt would be the least of
your worries.