Imc 2014


Science: Meat as a driving force



According to a popular hypothesis, eating meat has given our ancestors energy for a large brain and a jump to early humans. But it refutes a new analysis of archaeological discoveries from East Africa. Therefore, the increase in the proportion of animal foods occurs only due to the uneven density of discoveries. More Homo erectus relics have been discovered targeted and dug up to learn more about their diet.

Promotion of development by nutrition?

But what helped these early humans develop their development? Anthropologists have long suspected that a change in diet could have played an important role. Because it determines how much energy is available for the brain and how efficiently the nutrients can be utilized during digestion.

One hypothesis is that the invention of fire and cooking provided the necessary energy boost: because cooked food is more digestible, it provides more energy than raw food and this may have allowed Homo erectus to develop its larger brain. Alternatively, some researchers suspect that it was the switch to a meat-heavy diet that advanced early humans.

Fossil evidence under scrutiny

In fact, archaeological finds seem to support this “flesh made us human” hypothesis: Animal bones with cut marks and other relics of primeval slaughter were particularly often discovered at sites of Homo erectus. “Generations of paleoanthropologists have traveled to places like the famous Olduvai Gorge, seeking and finding evidence of meat-eating by these early humans,” says lead author Andrew Barr of George Washington University in Washington DC.

The problem, however, is that the fossil records of our ancestors are few and far between and are not evenly distributed in terms of space or time. For Barr and his team, the question, therefore, arose as to whether the finds known to date are sufficient to document such a change in eating habits. To check this, they examined archaeological relics from nine find regions in East Africa and 59 find strata between 2.6 and 1.2 million years old.

No apparent trend towards more meat

The analysis showed that the accumulation of animal bones and other evidence of animal food from around two million years ago is less due to the actual diet of our ancestors than to the unequal distribution of the finds. For example, the period 2.6 million to 1.9 million years ago is highly underestimated, and there is little evidence of apes and their diet fossils from this period. There are many more discoveries from the next phase, Link Building Services Agency.

Explanation of alternatives required

According to the research team, the results show that the flesh hypothesis is so weak that it cannot be proved, at least by current knowledge. “The fact that there was no convincing increase in the diet of Homo erectus animals suggests that an alternative explanation for its advanced properties is needed,”.

So it may have been the use of fire and the consumption of cooked food that gave our ancestors more energy. Changes in the social structure for example, due to the growing role of grandparents could also have given homo Erectus advantages.