Humans were apex predators for 2 million years
By T.K. Randall
April 12, 2021 · 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
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