Vegetarian cavemen died off, meat-eaters lived on?
In news that’s sure to anger animal rights activists, French paleontologists and evolutionary scientists announced on August 8 that a vegetarian branch of the human family tree went extinct around 1 million years ago.
Our meat-eating ancestors, however, lived on and kept evolving.
The scientists used a laser to determine the ratios of isotopes of various elements in tooth enamel found in early skeletal remains. This, they wrote, can identify “diet and habitat changes.”
While the largely vegetarian species didn’t survive, the less diet-restricted ”Australopithecus africanus” — which developed human-like facial features and a human-size brain cavity — continued to evolve.