Neanderthals may have eaten their dead relatives, a study says.

Scientists have found evidence that suggests this in the fossils of two adults and a child discovered in the south-western French region of Poitou-Charentes that date back 57,600 years.

They found all the bones had break marks, apparently made by tools.

“Some Neanderthal groups cut and tore apart child or adult corpses shortly after death using instruments,” Maria Dolores Garralda, a professor at the Complutense University of Madrid, said. “There is no evidence of cuts or traces of carnivores’ teeth.”

A thigh bone fragment shows two cut marks half a centimeter apart.

Researchers suggest the bone, which appears to be from a nine or 10-year-old, had fractures that were made shortly after death.

SOURCE: The Korea Times