Next to a mammoth, even a dozen burly Neanderthals would be slim pickings.
Even if all the bodies at a site were consumed in a single episode, he concluded, the energy payoff would be no more than what a hunter could get from a single large animal like a mammoth, a woolly rhino or a bear. So why bother with the hassle of hunting your own kind?
"You're dealing with an animal that is as smart as you are, as resourceful as you are, and can fight back in the way you fight them," Cole said.
It just wasn't worth the effort. So cannibalism most likely derived from a ritualistic practice, wherein the dead were partially consumed in order to keep them in some sense alive. Jeff Dahmer used that same argument. it didn't fly, but he tried it.