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Fossils prove early humans and saber-toothed cats coexisted

Early humans and saber-toothed cats coexisted in the Schöningen region of Germany about 300,000 years ago according to new fossil finds that were reported by scientists from the Lower Saxony Heritage Authority, the University of Leiden, and the University of Tübingen at the University of Tübingen website on April 1, 2014.

Close up view of a saber tooth cat head on display at the American Natural History Museum, New York.
Close up view of a saber tooth cat head on display at the American Natural History Museum, New York.
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The fossils of a saber-toothed cat and spears made by early human ancestors were found in the same level of strata in the open-cast coal mine in Schöningen.

The first tooth of a saber-toothed cat (Homotherium latidens) was found in 2012. The animal measured over three feet across the shoulder and weighed about 440 pounds.

The researchers also found spears measuring about 7.5 feet in length in the same location. The scientists found bones, stone implements for making spear heads and shaping spears, and other implements of early human origin.

The find indicates that early man, probably Homo heidelbergenis, coexisted with saber-toothed cats at least 260,000 years before modern man reached Europe.

The length and size of the spears and spear heads found indicate that the spears were used in hunting and as weapons of defense against predators like the saber-toothed cat.

This is one of the rare finds that decisively prove early humans and saber-toothed cats occupied the same area at the same time.