Someone just posted this article up on my feed:
"The researchers say the starch granules and carbohydrate markers in the samples, plus evidence for plant compounds such as azulenes and coumarins, as well as possible evidence for nuts, grasses and even green vegetables, show a broader use of plants than previously thought."
I'm not a Neanderthal. As a Northern European, I am at best 2% Neanderthal. What they ate really has no relevance to me - and since they became extinct, I'm really not interested in "aping" them. Following the failed strategies of the extinct doesn't seem like a plan to "win the Darwin." To be frank. :)
Remember that this isn't telling us what constituted the bulk of their diet, either. We know they ingested some plant matter, but we don't know if it was only eaten during extreme hunger, whether it was medicinal in nature, etc. All the evidence to date indicates a preference for meat (to the point where they were somewhat cannibalistic at times), despite this finding.
Sounds plausible. There is still a lot to discover about what our species ate in the past. While bone fragments remain through time, plant matter does not. I can imagine that as more detailed methods of analysis are developed, more findings like this will happen (not saying that we will be made out to have been vegetarians, but that our species likely evolved on an extremely diverse and varied diet).
I'm sure they ate more bugs, frogs, snakes and such than most of us would, too. I totally do not doubt that they ate all the plant matter they could. I eat a lot of plant matter, just not the crappy kind. (Processed, etc.)
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