The discovery of a new “missing link” species of bull dating to a million years ago in Eritrea pushes back the beef steak dinner to the very dawn of humans and cattle.
Although there is no evidence that early humans were actually herding early cattle 2.5 million years ago, the early humans and early cattle certainly shared the same landscape and beef was definitely on the menu all along, say researchers.
The telltale fossil is a skull with enormous horns that belongs to the cattle genus Bos. It has been reassembled from over a hundred shards found at a dig that also contains early human remains, said paleontologist Bienvenido Martinez-Navarro of the Universitat Rovira i Virgili in Tarragona, Spain. Martinez is the lead author of a paper reporting the discovery in the February issue of the journal Quaternary International.
“This means that the humans have been eating Bos since the beginnings of the genus Homo,” said Martinez, referring to the genus to which humans belong.