Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Did Neanderthals Eat Their Greens?

The oldest known Neanderthal faeces suggest that cavemen ate vegetables as well as meat. Researchers analysed the 45,000 year-old remains from the archaeological site of El Salt, in Spain and, as expected, discovered coprostanol, a lipid formed from digesting dietary cholesterol. They also found 5B-stigmastanol, a substance made when digesting plants.
  ‘Neanderthals probably ate what was available in different situations, seasons and climates,’ said Ainara Sistiaga, a graduate student at the University of La Laguna.
Previous studies suggested that Neanderthals probably ate nuts and plants, based on residue found in their
teeth. However, since Neanderthals used their teeth as tools, they may not have actually consumed the plant
matter. It’s also possible that the traces of plant came from the stomach contents of their prey.

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