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Diet responsible for human evolution

Change of diet may be a key to human evolution


The debate between Darwinians, Creationists and now the Panspermians to explain the origin of man has been going on for decades and every week, new evidence is presented to try to prove either one or another theory correct. In latest research, scientists have proposed the diet of our ancient ancestors may have been the key to biological evolution.

Scientists from multiple institutions have studied the enamel from the teeth of eleven different species of ancient humans (Homo, Australopithecus, Paranthropus etc) and baboons in Africa that span a 4 million years period of time. Analysing the carbon isotopes, they have discovered that the diet of our ancient ancestors changed at about 3.5 million years ago by adding grasses and grass-like plants to their regular diet which was similar to the diet of apes.

However, they have been unable to determine their exact diet because the isotope method that is used cannot distinguish between different food types but only general categories.

The meat came into our diet at about 2.5 million years ago, however evidence for hunting is found only 500,000 years ago. Of course we need to realize that what we have found is a tiny fraction of what is really out there waiting to be discovered.

What was it that made our ancestors suddenly change their diet and eat things that they didn’t eat before? Could it be climate change or changes in the environment or even observing other species having a different diet which they have tried to imitate? Well although there isn’t a definite answer, most scientists agree with the mainstream opinion that an environmental change triggered the change in the diet of our ancestors which according to this study was a step towards a biological evolution that would add to the Darwinian theory of human evolution.

By John Black

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John Black

Dr John (Ioannis) Syrigos initially began writing on Ancient Origins under the pen name John Black. He is both a co-owner and co-founder of Ancient Origins.

John is a computer & electrical engineer with a PhD in Artificial Intelligence, a... Read More

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