Early hominins had a taste for grass

Published on November 19th, 2012 | by Sevaan Franks

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A study done on the teeth of three Australopithecus bahrelghazali individuals has revealed that the ancient hominims, who lived over 3 million years ago, ate a diet rich in grasses and sedges.

There’s no accounting for taste—a truism that extends even to the earliest humans. By 3.5 million years ago, some early hominins in the Central African nation of Chad had already developed their own distinct tastes—literally. Three members of the genus Australopithecus—close cousins of the famed Lucy—had a yen for grass and sedges, according to a new study published online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The shift suggests that hominins adapted their diet to living in more open terrain, as our ancestors did at some point, earlier than thought.

[Full story]

Story: ScienceNOW | Photo: J. Michel Brunet/MPFT

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