Navigation Links
Fossilized Teeth Hold Clues to Early Human Species' Diet
Date:6/27/2012

WEDNESDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- New research suggests that human ancestors who lived 2 million years ago had a diet that was devoted to harder foods than other early humans.

"It is an important finding because diet is one of the fundamental aspects of an animal, one that drives its behavior and ecological niche," study co-author Paul Sandberg, a University of Colorado at Boulder doctoral student, said in a university news release. "As environments change over time because of shifting climates, animals are generally forced to either move or to adapt to their new surroundings."

The ancestor in question is a hominid called Australopithecus sediba, or Au. sediba, an upright species that was short and gangly and lived in what's now South Africa. Unlike its counterparts, Au. sediba ate tree bark, bushes and fruits instead of softer foods such as grasses and similar plants, the researchers believe.

An international team of investigators, led by the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, gained insight into the diet of Au. sediba by analyzing fossilized teeth from two sets of remains with the help of a laser that freed carbon from the tooth enamel. The carbon, in turn, reveals what the species ate, the study authors explained in the report published online June 27 in the journal Nature.

The researchers concluded that these two Au. sediba individuals ate very differently than all 81 previously tested hominids.

"What fascinates me is that these individuals are oddballs," study co-author Matt Sponheimer, a professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, said in the news release. "I had pretty much convinced myself that after 4 million years ago most of our hominid kin had diets that were different from living apes, but now I am not so sure."

Sponheimer added that the small sample size used in this study doesn't provide conclusive evidence, but as more fossils are discovered, scientists "won't have to wait another 2 million years" to perform additional research.

More information

The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History has more about Australopithecus sediba.

-- Randy Dotinga

SOURCE: University of Colorado at Boulder, news release, June 27, 2012


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. TeetheMe.com Partners with SwaddleDesigns
2. Aurora Dentist Gives Patients Big Savings With Teeth in a Day Implants
3. Researchers at IRB Barcelona uncover new clues about the origin of cancer
4. Amazon Tribe Gives Clues to Heart-Healthy Lifestyles
5. New Clues to the Evolution of the Human Brain
6. Geisel researchers sift through junk to find colorectal cancer clues
7. Clues to Slacker Behavior Found in Brain, Study Says
8. Research yields new clues to how brain cancer cells migrate and invade
9. Ice Cream Headaches Might Offer Clues to Migraines
10. Study of half siblings provides genetic clues to autism
11. JCI early table of contents for June 18, 2012
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
 Fossilized Teeth Hold Clues to Early Human Species' Diet 
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... "FCPX editors can now ... of Final Cut Pro X," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. ... Final Cut Pro X users can now reveal the media of their split ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... to revolutionize the emergency ambulance transport experience for the millions of people who ... Uber has disrupted the taxi industry through the use of technology. Now, SmartEMS ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, ... the 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where ... city’s history as home to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer is helping to develop a weight ... app plans to fix the two major problems leading the fitness industry today:, ... program , They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit their exercise program ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, ... Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. ... skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)...  Arkis BioSciences, a leading innovator in the ... cerebrospinal fluid treatments, today announced it has secured ... led by Innova Memphis, followed by Angel Capital ... Arkis, new financing will accelerate the commercialization of ... of its in-licensed Endexo® technology. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Any dentist who has ... of the current process. Many of them do not even ... technical difficulties and high laboratory costs involved. And those who ... it at such a high cost that the majority of ... Dr. Parsa Zadeh , founder of Dental Evolutions ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Roche (SIX: RO, ... clearance for its Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay as ... or septic shock. With this clearance, Roche is the ... fully integrated solution for sepsis risk assessment and management. ... bacterial infection and PCT levels in blood can aid ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: