Monday, August 13, 2012

ANCIENT HOMININS BRAINS MAY HAVE BEEN BOOSTED BY EATING MEAT!

The consumption of a varied diet, including meat, may have led to the development of brain capacity in human ancestors researchers believe.

According to research published recently, research shed light on the diet of early hominims belonging to three different genera, Australopithecus, Paranthropus and Homo line.
The scientists found that Australopithecus had a more varied diet than either early humans or Paranthropus.

Scientists conducted an analysis of fossil teeth found in areas such as Sterkfontein, Swartkrans and Kromdraai in South Africa's "Cradle of Humankind" before publishing their findings in the journal Nature, the University of Witwatersrand said.

Among the scientists who co-published the research was Professor Francis Thackeray of the Wits Institute for Human Evolution. Thackeray believes the results of the study show that Paranthropus had a diet that was primarily plant-based, while early humans ate more meat.

"Thackeray states that the greater consumption of meat in the diet of early forms of Homo could have contributed to the increase in brain size in this genus," read the statement.

Australopithecus was also omnivorous, eating both meat and the leaves and fruits of woody plants. This diet may have varied seasonally.


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