Friday, 29 June 2012

Early human ancestor chewed bark

An early relative of humans chewed on bark and leaves, according to fossil evidence.
Analysis of food trapped in the teeth of the two-million-year-old "southern ape" suggests it existed on a unique diet of forest fruits and other woodland plants.
The study, in Nature, gives an insight into the evolution of what could have been a direct human ancestor.
Other early African contemporaries had a diet suggesting a grassland habitat.
The first fossils of Australopithecus sediba, discovered in South Africa in 2008, were hailed as a remarkable discovery.
Teeth from two individuals were analysed in the latest research, focussing on patterns of dental wear, carbon isotope data and plant fragments from dental tartar.
The evidence suggests the ape-like creature ate leaves, fruit, bark, wood and other forest vegetation.
Dr Amanda Henry of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, led the research.
"We've for the first time been able to put together three quite different methods for reconstructing diet and gotten one cohesive picture of the diet of this ancient species and that picture is really quite different from what we've seen in other hominins (human ancestors)," she said.

No comments:

Post a Comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails