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:10/13/2017)... Calif. (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Many ... dementia. However, many long-term care insurance companies have a waiver for care if the ... 90-day elimination period, when the family pays for care, is often waived, so the ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Talented host, actor Rob Lowe, is introducing a segment ... of "Success Files," which is an award-winning educational program broadcasted on PBS Member ... with passion and integrity. , Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve in the ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... treating sleep apnea using cutting-edge Oventus O2Vent technology. As many as ... disorder characterized by frequent cessation in breathing. Oral appliances can offer significant relief ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... in post-acute health care, have expanded their existing home health joint venture through ... AccentCare has been operating a joint venture home health company with Asante, delivering ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... Chapel, FL (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... is holding a treadmill relay – Miles by Moonlight to raise money for the ... donating $300 or more. , Teams will work together to keep their treadmills ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... -- NDS received FDA 510(k) clearance in May 2017 for its highly ... designed for endoscopy environments. An innovative secondary monitor solution, ZeroWire ... support the improvement of patient outcomes, procedural efficiency, and the lowering ... ... ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... 2017  South Korean-based healthcare product Development Company I.M. ... on Kickstarter. The device will educate the user about ... better efficiency compared to the dated and pricey CPR ... efficacy of the compression for a more informed CPR ... to raise $5,000. ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... INDIANAPOLIS , Oct. 2, 2017  Eli Lilly ... its financial results for the third quarter of 2017 ... a conference call on that day with the investment ... performance. The conference call will begin at ... public can access a live webcast of the conference ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: