Contact: Lee J. Siegel
University of Utah
Caption: A set of new studies from the University of Utah and elsewhere found that human ancestors and relatives started eating an increasingly grassy diet 3.5 million years ago. The studies included analysis of tooth enamel from fossils of several early African humans, their ancestors and extinct relatives, some of which are shown here. Top left: Paranthropus bosei, 1.7 million years ago. Top right: Homo sapiens, 10,000 years ago. Center left: Paranthropus aethiopicus, 2.3 million years ago. Center right: Homo ergaster, 1.6 million years ago. Bottom left: Kenyanthropus platyops, 3.3 million years ago. Bottom center: lower jaw from Australopithecus anamensis, 4 million years ago. Bottom right: Homo rudolfensis, 1.9 million years ago.
Credit: Copyright National Museums of Kenya. Photos by Mike Hettwer, except Homo sapiens by Yang Deming.
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Related news release: A grassy trend in human ancestors' diets