Early humans ate brains, study says
Animal bones uncovered and studied in Kenya indicate that our early ancestors loved to eat antelope and wildebeest brains, USA Today reported Sunday.
Science News is reporting that our forefathers were pretty handy with a knife, as research shows they cut the animals into usable parts and then took the meatiest bones and sections for food. Other parts of the animals were used for cloth, weapons and other utensils.
Scientists have also found a disproportionate number of animal skulls in the area, suggesting our ancestors scavenged the untouched heads from carcasses left behind by big cats after their own meals. Dents inside the skulls indicate they dug in with stonesto get at the delicious, juicy brains inside.
A few East African sites dating to as early as 3.4 million years ago had previously produced small numbers of animal bones bearing butchery marks made by stone tools. Scientists think those bones indicate occasional meat eating as well.
According to a study of the findings, this nutrient-rich brain tissue may have helped Homo erectus, the bodies of an early, extinct species related to the "modern man" support larger bodies, bigger brains, and travel longer distances.
Distinguishing between hunting and scavenging can be difficult based on fossils. Early Homo, for instance, could have occasionally driven predators away from fresh kills and carried away bodies of prime-age gazelles.