Ancient human ancestor ‘Nutcracker Man’ lived on tiger nuts

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on January 13, 2014

“An Oxford University study has concluded that our ancient ancestors who lived in East Africa between 2.4 million and 1.4 million years ago survived mainly on a diet of tiger nuts. Tiger nuts are edible grass bulbs still eaten in parts of the world today. The study, published in the journal PLOS One, also suggests that these early hominins may have sought additional nourishment from fruits and invertebrates such as worms and grasshoppers. Study author Dr Gabriele Macho examined the diet ofParanthropus boisei, nicknamed ‘Nutcracker Man’ because of his big flat molar teeth and powerful jaws, through studying modern-day baboons in Kenya. Her findings help to explain a puzzle that has vexed archaeologists for 50 years.”


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