Archaeology Study Says Foodie-ism May Have an Evolutionary Precedent

(Photo: Journal of African Earth Sciences via Science Direct)

(Photo: Journal of African Earth Sciences via Science Direct)

That impulse behind trying new dishes may have a biological precedent, says NPR. A new archeology report found that early humans may have roamed the land for edibles, a quality that “could have led early human ancestors on the first steps of migrations through Africa and beyond.”

Using carbon found in fossilized teeth, scientists have determined that nearly 3 million years ago (in today’s Chad) hominids known as Australopithecus bahrelghazi ate grasses and sedge (tough plants found in the marshes), veering away from the typical diet of early primates. Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencesthe study suggests that “boadening their diet to include a variety of plants may have made it more likely that these early primates could expand into new territory.”

Along with acquiring the skill and habit of cooking, this curiosity of new and different foods “may have upped the odds of survival for human ancestors.”

[via NPR]

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