Peixe sempre foi bom pra cabeça: mama Evolução já sabia disso na África há 2 milhões de anos

sexta-feira, junho 11, 2010

Crocodile and Hippopotamus Served as 'Brain Food' for Early Human Ancestors

ScienceDaily (June 10, 2010) — Your mother was right: Fish really is "brain food." And it seems that even pre-humans living as far back as 2 million years ago somehow knew it.

An open-jawed Nile crocodile (crocodylus niloticus) at Lake Panic in South Africa's Kruger National Park. (Credit: iStockphoto)

A team of researchers that included Johns Hopkins University geologist Naomi Levin has found that early hominids living in what is now northern Kenya ate a wider variety of foods than previously thought, including fish and aquatic animals such as turtles and crocodiles. Rich in protein and nutrients, these foods may have played a key role in the development of a larger, more human-like brain in our early forebears, which some anthropologists believe happened around 2 million years ago, according to the researchers' study.

"Considering that growing a bigger brain requires many nutrients and calories, anthropologists have posited that adding meat to their diet was key to the development of a larger brain," said Levin, an assistant professor in the Morton K. Blaustein Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Johns Hopkins' Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. "Before now, we have never had such a wealth of data that actually demonstrates the wide variety of animal resources that early humans accessed." Levin served as the main geologist on the team, which included scientists from the United States, South Africa, Kenya, Australia and the United Kingdom.

A paper on the study was published recently in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and offers first-ever evidence of such dietary variety among early pre-humans.

Read more here/Leia mais aqui: Science Daily

Wrong paper mentioned by Science Daily. Below is the right one.


Early hominin diet included diverse terrestrial and aquatic animals 1.95 Ma in East Turkana, Kenya

David R. Braun a,1, John W. K. Harris b, Naomi E. Levin c, Jack T. McCoy b, Andy I. R. Herries d, Marion K. Bamford e, Laura C. Bishop f, Brian G. Richmond g,h, and Mzalendo Kibunjia i

-Author Affiliations

aArchaeology Department, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa;
bAnthropology Department, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901;
cDepartment of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218;
dUniversity of New South Wales Archaeomagnetism Laboratory, Integrative Palaeoecological and Anthropological Studies, School of Medical Sciences, University of New South Wales, Kensington 2052, Australia;
eBernard Price Institute Palaeontology, University of the Witwatersrand, 2050, Johannesburg, South Africa;
fResearch Centre in Evolutionary Anthropology and Palaeoecology, School of Natural Sciences and Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool L3 3AF, United Kingdom;
gCenter for the Advanced Study of Hominid Paleobiology, Department of Anthropology, George Washington University, Washington, DC 20052;
hHuman Origins Program, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20052; and
iDivision of Sites and Monuments, National Museums of Kenya, 40658-00100 Nairobi, Kenya

Edited by Richard G. Klein, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, and approved April 23, 2010 (received for review February 20, 2010)


The manufacture of stone tools and their use to access animal tissues by Pliocene hominins marks the origin of a key adaptation in human evolutionary history. Here we report an in situ archaeological assemblage from the Koobi Fora Formation in northern Kenya that provides a unique combination of faunal remains, some with direct evidence of butchery, and Oldowan artifacts, which are well dated to 1.95 Ma. This site provides the oldest in situ evidence that hominins, predating Homo erectus, enjoyed access to carcasses of terrestrial and aquatic animals that they butchered in a well-watered habitat. It also provides the earliest definitive evidence of the incorporation into the hominin diet of various aquatic animals including turtles, crocodiles, and fish, which are rich sources of specific nutrients needed in human brain growth. The evidence here shows that these critical brain-growth compounds were part of the diets of hominins before the appearance of Homo ergaster/erectus and could have played an important role in the evolution of larger brains in the early history of our lineage.

Oldowan    Paleolithic    stone tools   paleomagnetism


1To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Author contributions: D.R.B., J.W.K.H., N.E.L., J.T.M., L.C.B., B.G.R., and M.K. designed research; D.R.B., J.W.K.H., N.E.L., J.T.M., A.I.R.H., M.K.B., L.C.B., B.G.R., and M.K. performed research; D.R.B., J.W.K.H., N.E.L., J.T.M., M.K.B., B.G.R., and M.K. conducted fieldwork that led to the discovery of the site; N.E.L. and A.I.R.H. collected and anlayzed geological and geochronological data.; J.T.M. conducted taphonomic analysis of faunal materials; D.R.B., N.E.L., J.T.M., A.I.R.H., M.K.B., L.C.B., B.G.R., and M.K. analyzed data; and D.R.B., J.W.K.H., N.E.L., J.T.M., A.I.R.H., M.K.B., L.C.B., B.G.R., and M.K. wrote the paper.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

This article is a PNAS Direct Submission.

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