Wednesday, 25 September 2013
Did our ancient ancestors really eat lots of grass?
Some time ago some articles appeared in the popular press indicating that our ancient ancestors were keen on eating grass. The measurement of 13C and 12C was made from samples of dental enamel in extinct human ancestors , and δ13C was calculated relative to a standard value. Indeed, δ13C values in enamel ultimately indicate the isotopic dietary carbon source came from plants. Rather than assuming that these results indicated plant consumption the Journalists should have considered whether animal consumption could lead to such values. After all if you eat meat\organs from species that are herbivores then your δ13C values would be similar to the value of what you consumed.
Anyway a letter rebutting these articles has appeared here: