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Palaeontology

Humans were apex predators for 2 million years

April 12, 2021 | Comment icon 23 comments



Our ancestors were big fans of eating meat. Image Credit: NPS - PD
A new study has indicated that Homo sapiens dined almost exclusively on meat for over two million years.
One of the most popular dietary trends currently is the so-called paleo diet, which focuses on a balance of fruit, nuts, fish and lean meats thought to mirror the diet of our prehistoric ancestors.

In reality, however, our ancestors dined much more heavily on meat for up to two million years, that is, at least, according to the findings of a new study by researchers at Israel's Tel Aviv University and the University of Minho in Portugal.

By analyzing the results of hundreds of previous studies, the team was able to conclude that modern hunter-gatherers have given us the wrong impression of what our prehistoric ancestors ate.

"This comparison is futile, however, because two million years ago hunter-gatherer societies could hunt and consume elephants and other large animals - while today's hunter gatherers do not have access to such bounty," said Miki Ben-Dor of Tel Aviv University.
"We decided to use other methods to reconstruct the diet of stone-age humans: to examine the memory preserved in our own bodies, our metabolism, genetics and physical build."

"Human behavior changes rapidly, but evolution is slow. The body remembers."

According to the study, evidence points to the likelihood that our ancestors became highly carnivorous around 2.5 million years ago and this continued until 11,700 years ago.

After that, plant consumption became more commonplace and comparisons between our ancestors and modern hunter-gatherers become more useful.

The Neolithic revolution of farming and agriculture would ultimately see mankind move onto the path that would lead to modern civilization and the eventual diets that we see today.

Source: Science Alert | Comments (23)



Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #14 Posted by Myles 6 months ago
Every generation?   
Comment icon #15 Posted by gillmanjoe 6 months ago
being an anthropology major I would like to add that 99% of all facts are guesses
Comment icon #16 Posted by Abramelin 6 months ago
Comment icon #17 Posted by Abramelin 6 months ago
Based on what, aside of fantasy?
Comment icon #18 Posted by Abramelin 6 months ago
And I am the grandson of Albert Einstein, and I say you are wrong.
Comment icon #19 Posted by Trelane 6 months ago
Soooo, Ron Swanson has the correct diet?
Comment icon #20 Posted by gillmanjoe 6 months ago
so you are questioning science?
Comment icon #21 Posted by Abramelin 6 months ago
No, I'm questioning you.
Comment icon #22 Posted by Nosy.Matters 4 months ago
Wait, isn't there a special science that says it all started 2000 years ago? Creative mind designs or such?   /sarc
Comment icon #23 Posted by DieChecker 4 months ago
I wonder where the gigantic trash piles are? If our civilization is any gage, there should be entire strata of trash from past civilizations. Where's the trash? 


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