Homo erectus the first chef of humanity

Homo erectus the first chef of humanity


Homo erectus, an extinct ancestor of modern man, who lived about 1.9 million ago years, cooked their food, according to a study being published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Unique in the animal kingdom, man eating cooked foods, and his ancestors were able, thanks to this diet, to absorb more calories, which gave him greater strength and longer life expectancy.

But when food from the cooking had a notable influence on the biological ancestors of Homo sapiens has remained shrouded in mystery until now, said the study authors.

Using a phylogenetic technique - the study of kinship links between different living beings to understand their evolution - the study authors, among them was Chris Organ, a biologist at Harvard University in the United States were able to determine the time that humans and other primates is spent feeding.

"We learned that modern man devotes less time to feed" and 4.7% of its daily activities, while the other received this percentage is 48%.

This difference implying that a rapid change in the evolution of food habits occurred in the human branch after their separation from chimpanzees, the 6 million years ago.

Thus, among the ancestors of modern man remove Homo erectus shows a strong reduction in the size of the molars, which continued, albeit unevenly, to Homo sapiens.

"We were able to show that reducing the size of the first ancestors of human molars - Homo habilis and Homo rudolfensis - can only be explained by evolution and body size," says the study.

But molars decrease from Homo erectus, Neanderthal man and Homo sapiens can not result only from changes in skull and body size.

"Our results indicate that the reduction is essentially adapting molars (teeth, no) in baked and cooked food, which considerably reduced the time spent eating, and this process began with Homo erectus, 1.9 million ago years, "concluded the authors.

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