Human Ancestor Ate Bark Like a Chimp
Bits of food stuck between the teeth of a two-million-year-old South African hominid show that, unlike almost all other known human ancestors, it ate tree bark and other hard foods. Australopithecus sediba’s diet was dramatically different to that of its African cousins, which tended to eat grasses and sedges.
“It is an important finding, because diet is one of the fundamental aspects of an animal, one that drives its behavior and ecological niche,” says CU-Boulder doctoral student Paul Sandberg. “As environments change over time because of shifting climates, animals are generally forced to either move or to adapt to their new surroundings.”