Navigation Links
The roots of civilization trace back to ... roots

About five to seven million years ago, when the lineage of humans and chimpanzees split, edible root plants similar to rutabagas and turnips may have been one of the reasons. According to research by anthropologists Greg Laden of the University of Minnesota and Richard Wrangham of Harvard University, the presence of fleshy underground storage organs like roots and tubers must have sustained our ancestors who left the rain forest to colonize the savannah. They have published their research in the October issue of the Journal of Human Evolution.

"You can think of roots as a kind of 'conveyor belt' ... they were somewhat available in the forest, but abundant on the savannah," said Laden. "Once roots were 'discovered,' chimp-like creatures would not only be able to survive on the savannah, but may well have been compelled to extend their range into more and more open habitats."

When our ape ancestors moved -- for reasons unknown -- onto the open, relatively treeless savannah, they left behind the rain forest and its abundance of fruit and leaves, the mainstays of modern chimpanzee diets. Laden and Wrangham believe that savannah-dwellers may have adopted game as their primary food in place of fruit. But for a fallback food, they may well have taken to eating roots and tubers, which are much more abundant on savannahs than in rain forests.

In the article, Laden and Wrangham say that the evidence lies in the fossil record, specifically teeth and jaws. The teeth and jaws of savannah dwelling apes evolved into large massive jaws, jaw muscles and molars, ideal for grinding roots instead of shearing leaves. The size of the teeth and jaws reflect the apes' secondary food source (roots) instead of primary foods like meats and fruits, which do not require such massive chewing abilities.

While our ancient ancestors may have left the rain forest for the savannah in pursuit of game meat, it was the ability to find and eat roots that may have contri buted to the initial split between humans and the other apes. Laden and Wrangham's paper is available at www.sciencedirect.com


'"/>

Source:University of Minnesota


Related biology news :

1. Scientists discover the cellular roots of graying hair
2. Two NIH initiatives launch intensive efforts to find roots of common diseases
3. Genetic roots of bipolar disorder revealed by first genome-wide study of illness
4. Researchers trace evolution to relatively simple genetic changes
5. MSI releases moleculizer - a new approach to simulation of intracellular biochemical networks
6. Bone Density Recovers After Teens Stop Injected Contraceptive
7. Of mice and mens (and womens) contraceptives
8. Critical step traced in anthrax infection
9. DNA traces evolution of extinct sabertooths and the American cheetah-like cat
10. Team led by Carnegie Mellon University scientist finds first evidence of a living memory trace
11. Tracking the memory trace
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:1/25/2016)... SEATTLE , Jan. 25, 2016  Glencoe Software, ... biotech, pharma and publication industries, will provide the data ... Phenotypic Screening Centre (NPSC). ... Phenotypic analysis ... even whole organisms, allowing comparisons between states such as ...
(Date:1/20/2016)...   MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based eClinical ... research, is pleased to announce the attainment of record-setting ... result of the company,s laser focus on (and growing ... it,s comprehensive, easy-to-use and highly affordable cloud-based technology platform. ... MedNet growth achievements in 2015 include: , ...
(Date:1/13/2016)... January 13, 2016 ... addition of the  "India Biometrics Authentication ... Forecast (2015-2020)"  report to their ... has announced the addition of the  ... - Estimation & Forecast (2015-2020)" ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... Feb. 11, 2016  Bioethics International, a not-for-profit organization focused ... developed, marketed and made accessible to patients around the world, ... had named the publication of the Good Pharma Scorecard ... is also featured as one of BMJ Open ,s ... year that are most frequently read. Ed Sucksmith ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... 11, 2016 --> ... "Company") (OTCQB: PSID), a life sciences company focused ... Thermomedics subsidiary, which markets the Caregiver® FDA-cleared non-contact ... in January 2016, including entering into agreements with ... sales growth, and establishing several near-term pipeline opportunities. ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... MONTREAL , Febr. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - BioAmber Inc. ... is pleased to announce that Mitsui & Co. Ltd., ... bio-based succinic acid plant, is investing an additional CDN$25 ... equity, increasing its stake from 30% to 40%.  Mitsui ... of bio-succinic acid produced in Sarnia ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... that it has joined the Human Vaccines Project, a public-private partnership to ... cancer. , The Human Vaccines Project brings together leading pharmaceutical and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: