We’ve lost most of the Neanderthals. All the soft tissues have gone, and we don’t have a single complete skeleton of any individual.
Some of the skeletons we’ve got have lost the teeth, as well as their soft parts. In fact we know that some Neanderthals lost their teeth years before they died.
But how could they survive without teeth? We know that Neanderthals ate mostly meat because for quite a lot of the time there wasn’t much else around they could eat. But you need teeth if you’re going to eat steak, especially as a lot of it would have had to be eaten raw.
So how did a toothless Neanderthal manage?
Well, our best guess is that he or she used someone else’s teeth. That is, someone else chewed their meat for them and then passed it to them to swallow.
Yes, I think it’s gross, too.
But, hey, it makes for some interesting relationships when you're writing a book like SONG HUNTER.