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June 27, 2024 12:56 PM

Fossil of child with Down syndrome hints at Neanderthal compassion

Living among a small band of Neanderthals in what is now eastern Spain was a child, perhaps 6 years old, with Down syndrome, as shown in a remarkable fossil preserving traits in the inner ear anatomy indicative of this serious genetic condition. This fossil, unearthed at the Cova Negra archeological site in the province of Valencia near the city of Xàtiva, not only represents the earliest-known evidence of Down syndrome but, according to scientists, hints at compassionate caregiving in these e...

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