Skip to comments.Fossilized Human Poop Reveals The Real Paleo Diet (Neanderthals)
Posted on 06/26/2014 7:54:45 PM PDT by blam
Will Dunham, Reuters
Jun. 26, 2014
Don't laugh, but the discovery of the oldest known human poop is offering valuable scientific insight into the life of Neanderthals who lived in Spain some 50,000 years ago.
Scientists said on Wednesday they found five samples of human fecal matter at an archeological site called El Salt, in the floor of a rock shelter where Neanderthals once lived.
Analysis of the samples provided a new understanding of the diet of this extinct human species, offering the first evidence that Neanderthals were omnivores who also ate vegetables as part of their meat-heavy diet, they said.
The straight poop: Fossil feces is not merely prehistoric toilet humor.
"So far, it is the only fossil evidence that gives us information of the ingestion and the regular meals of our ancestors," said Ainara Sistiaga, a geoarchaeologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of La Laguna who was one of the researchers.
"Understanding the diet of past human species closely related to our own will help us gain perspective on our evolutionary constraints and adaptability," Sistiaga added.
The researchers examined the fecal fossils for biologically derived indicators of the types of food the Neanderthals ate.
Their findings indicate that Neanderthals predominantly consumed meat, as suggested by high amounts of one such "biomarker" called coprostanol formed by the bacterial reduction of cholesterol in the gut. But they also found evidence for significant plant intake as shown by the presence of a compound called 5 beta-stigmastanol, found in plant sources.
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“diet of this extinct human species”
Where is the “Not this crap, again!” dude?
Those dates also baffle me. How were they determined? If you do the math, there would ne much more people living today if we have ben around that long.
Doesn’t surprise me one bit. I try to maintain a paleo-diet and most mornings it feels like I’m pooping a fossil...
Mediteranean diet for me...lots of fish, poultry,nuts, olive oils, fresh veggies and some grain based carbs. Also red wine. No cheese or much dairy really...almond milk or Greek yogurt for me.
>> “Those dates also baffle me. How were they determined?” <<
They extracted them from the same location as the poop came from.
I know this as a (semi) serious subject and all but honestly, I want to know, more than about neanderthal science, how it is that at some point in a budding young mind a decision is made to make a career out of studying the feces of others.
Does one begin studying ones own feces and then, having developed a love for it, chase the family pet around the yard? Go on litterbox excavations?
how does this work exactly?
The guy in the second photo looks like the bums I see in downtown Seattle!
Lie expectancy before invention of modern medicine was abysmally low. Food was scarce, shelter was brutal and medicines were non-existent. We are so dammmm lucky to be living in the current times.
Wow, without a 7-11 on the corner, early humans had to eat whatever they could kill or forage.
Their diet was terrible. They’re all dead.
Or, we could phone Justice Ginsberg and ask her what she had for lunch.
I drank almond milk for a while (and was eating almonds at the same time) until I realized my blood was so thin I was bruising like people on blood thinners. Vitamin E from the almonds stores up in your body. Have you noticed anything like that?
Just to try out my new tagline...
I’m induging in carrot slices as a midnite snack. Try to eat a piece of fruit per day.
I’ve always wondered who that first intrepid human(oid?) was who ate oysters.
Not given the low fertility caused by the brutal conditions plus an extremely high infant mortality rate.
Go to Japan. you will never ask that question again. If it moves, the Japanese have a recipe. If it doesn’t they also have a recipe.
And if it used to move and does not anymore, I have seen a ‘dish’ with electrodes hooked up so that it does. And I am not remotely kidding.
Fung schwing, Fung schway = oriental saurkraut!!!
Perhaps they wiped with newspaper ;-)
I was thinking of Nick Nolte’s bum character in that film (the title of which I cannot recall) in which Bette Midler was running around yelling “call 911!”.
“Down and Out in Beverly Hills”
That’s the one!
Carrots - an excellent source for Vitamin A (vision, immune system, bones)
lol...you’re better than me...I had some cereal.
Apropos to nothing, for some strange reason the other day I got to thinking... the only cultures that don’t seem to have a native bread are the Japanese/Chinese, and perhaps Pacific Islanders. I know they have rice and noodles, but bread would pre-date that by a lot (I think?) Bread doesn’t have to be wheat-based, so why is that? Or am I just totally off?
Probably by radio-carbon dating. 50,000 years is getting close to the maximum you can measure with carbon dating. I saw a couple sites that said 60,000 years is the maximum because there isn't enough C14 to measure accurately.
If you do the math, there would ne much more people living today if we have ben around that long.
Except for those times when you lose half the population due to plague, starvation or a major Cro-Magnon ass kicking.
Just imagine the guy squatting there pinching that loaf, imagine what he would think if he knew that 50,000 years later people would be interested in his poop.
No clue there at all.
Yeah, because only bears are smart enough to exploit all available food sources - hunting is so much easier.
And I didn't notice, but did they find some genetic marker to specifically link the poop to neanderthals? Just because they found neanderthal remains doesn't mean modern humans didn't use the same rock shelter at a later time.
Nope, never noticed that...I’ll research it though
We wonder who first tried artichoke.
People have been known to eat shoes, tree bark and grass during famines. I imagine most would be surprised at what they’d consider eating if they’d been without food long enough.
The really interesting cases are the foods that used to be all but inedible, but aren’t now. For example who was it that thought that the banana might be a good candidate for selective gardening? The original “banana” is tiny, full of seeds, and just about inedibly bitter. Ditto citrus, which also used to be small, tough, full of seeds, and horribly sour.
Yes, you are totally off.
Before Europeans went everywhere, most places didn’t eat bread. No bread in South America. Corn cakes in Central and North America up to the cold line, Africa had few places with bread south of the Sahara. Ethiopia has a flatbread made of the local grain and there were similar ones west of there made of millet. The rice cultures generally didn’t have bread, except steamed ground rice flour. The northern peoples had flatbread made of ground barley and buckwheat. Grinding grain is hard, and hard on the teeth, too.
Rice culture is easy, the grain is edible if just boiled, and it provides lots of calories. Therefore, no need to develop a complicated system of milling just to eat. It is much older than bread.
The older I get, the more I think the best way to eat is as close to the way God packaged it as you can reasonably get, and if you're not lactose intolerant, for heaven's sake, do dairy! It's up there with eggs as a source of intense good nutrition, from calcium to B12 protein. As for the egg white fad ... I bet you a million bucks that in the next ten or 15 years there'll be admonishment to be sure and include the yolk, to eat them together, for the best nutrition, that just eating the whites is throwing you off whack because it's missing a key nutrient factor. Just like too much soy throws you off whack.
The folks I know who are healthy pretty much eat food the way God presents it. They may fancy it up with great cooking, but milk is real milk, butter is real butter, meat is real meat, and fruits and veggies are straightforward. Elegant or fancy or plain, but non-processed.
That's just me.
anything short of granite was food.
The crappy origins of the archaeology of North Americas first people.
Yesterday, the journal Science reported the discovery in an Oregon cave of human DNA that is more than 14,000 years old. The DNA was extracted from coprolites, or fossilized feces. They represent the oldest human remains found in the Western Hemisphere.
I agree and think doing so is good advice.
And, eat a lot more vegetables than meat because vegetables were/are easier to obtain.
Years ago, I read about a guy in Florida who drank so much carrot juice that he got cirossis (sp) of the liver and died.
At least he died healthy.
What you describe IS the way I eat (except for some snacks which are processed).
When I was drinking almond milk, I was trying to eliminate certain foods from my diet to see what was causing skin issues.
Happily, I am not lactose intolerant and can drink real milk. I hope you have been able to pinpoint whatever is causing skin issues. One little miracle ingredient that has worked honest-to-goodness miracles on my skin is fresh-harvested (not bottled) aloe vera that I grow in my yard or harvest from other places. AMAZING STUFF!!!!!