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Neanderthals carb loaded, helping grow their big brains – Science Magazine

DNA from mouth bacteria suggest human ancestors ate diets rich in starchy plants by 600,000 years ago

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A reconstruction of Neanderthal mealtime
Mauricio Anton/Science Source
By Ann GibbonsMay. 10, 2021 , 3:00 PM
Heres another blow to the popular image of Neanderthals as brutish meat eaters: A new study of bacteria collected from Neanderthal teeth shows that our close cousins ate so many roots, nuts, or other starchy foods that they dramatically altered the type of bacteria in their mouths. The finding suggests our ancestors had adapted to eating lots of starch by at least 600,000 years agoabout…

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