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Neanderthals Ate Their Veggies 151

sciencehabit (1205606) writes Scientists excavating an archaeological site in southern Spain have finally gotten the real poop on Neanderthals, finding that the Caveman Diet for these quintessential carnivores included substantial helpings of vegetables. Using the oldest published samples of human fecal matter, archaeologists have found the first direct evidence that Neanderthals in Europe cooked and ate plants about 50,000 years ago.
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Neanderthals Ate Their Veggies

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  • Re:Seems strange. (Score:5, Informative)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @09:12AM (#47323593) Journal
    It's nice to see that somebody found some coproliths (isn't it nice that there's a scientific synonym for 'shit rocks'?) and managed to get more detailed data (tooth structure and clever isotopic work can distinguish carnivores from onmivores or herbivores; but actual digested material might even allow you to identify plant types, depending on preservation, presence of seeds, etc.); but I'd always had the impression that the 'Cavemen, like, ate meat all the time' considered so disproven as to be barely worth mentioning, given that the dental records suggested that neanderthals weren't wildly different from humans in terms of chewing optimizations, and basically every pre-agricultural society ever(except maybe inuit, since there isn't much to 'gather' on the ice) have combined some amount of hunting with some amount of gathering.

    There is a fairly noticeable change when agriculture hits the scene (suddenly all rice/millet/wheat/etc. all the time becomes a thing for the squalid underclass, minus any small livestock that can be raised on scraps); but there is nothing suggesting that hominids with alternatives ever went meat-only.

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