Science & Technology

Human Grass Diet Could've Led to Larger Brains

3 to 3.5 mya


A new comprehensive analysis of early human teeth reveals that early human species like Australopithecus afarensis ("Lucy") changed what they ate about 3.5 million years ago, expanding their ape-like diet of leaves and fruit to more human-like fare of grasses, sedges, and succulents. This set the stage for a modern human diet of grains and the evolution of larger brains, according to researchers.

Four new studies, involving two dozen researchers, of carbon isotopes found in fossilized tooth enamel from a wide range of human ancestors in Africa from four million to 10,000 years ago show a surprising increase in the consumption of grasses and grass-like plants.

h/t Charles WT