What about insects in hominin diets?

Archaeology, Archeology, Diet, DNA, Human Evolution, Insects, Journal of Human Evolution, Lithics, Palaeoanthropology, Paleoanthropology, Research
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It should come as no surprise to students of hominin evolution that little discussion has been devoted to the relationship between the hominin and the insect.

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Paranthropus boisei reconstruction

This topic was addressed back in 2001 in the chapter of an academic volume by William McGrew of the department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge. Since then nothing has been done to address ways in which such an investigation could be conducted. What can be done to address this? Look at what we………..modern primate diets and the role insects play in their diets from the human to the Orangutan. Let’s then look at the earliest evidence for hominin consumption of insects. South Africa has nabbed that prize, thus far. The Lower Palaeolithic sites of Swartkrans, Sterkfontein and Drimolen contained hominin fossil bone tools with wear patterns similar to those wear patterns you find on sticks used by Chimps to fish for termites. Fossil remains of Paranthropus robustus were found at these sites and the evidence suggests they were feasting on termites.

Examining the fossil evidence is one focus, but there are others including, lithics, residues, dental microwear, stable isotopes, DNA and coprolites (fossilised feaces). The dental microwear presents various problems, given that they have been in the ground for millions of years. Stable isotopic research is highlighted in William McGrew’s latest paper in the Journal of Human Evolution.

Since the above was first published, a significant amount of work has been done to shed more light on this topic.

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