Evolution of Diet

Category archives for Evolution of Diet

Evolution: The Mind’s Big Bang

Evolution: The Mind’s Big Bang I’ve known Shea for years … since before grad school. Going out drinking with this guy was a little dangerous. Almost as dangerous as going out drinking with me.

Cooking and Human Evolution

From Scientific American, a piece on the “Cooking Hypothesis” (which yours truly helped develop some years back). Our hominid ancestors could never have eaten enough raw food to support our large, calorie-hungry brains, Richard Wrangham claims. The secret to our evolution, he says, is cooking Cooking does indeed turn a lot of stuff that is…

Birds evolved during the Mesozoic, during the various “Ages” of the dinosaurs, as a subset of those dinosaurs. Many researchers believe that these early birds were different from their then very close dinosaur cousins because of their flight adaptations, and some have linked this idea to flight-based or tree- based foraging. Today, most birds fly…

Roots Coming Home to Roost

Many years ago a couple of researchers (Hatley and Kappleman) suggested omnivory, including eating of roots, to be a common theme in the adaptations we see in bears, humans, and pigs. Some years later, Richard Wrangham and I independently and for different reasons came to the idea that roots are potentially important in human evolution,…

I find it absolutely fascinating that scientists often bother to estimate the effects of diet by feeding controlled quantities of food, especially plant food, to rats to see what happens. For example, there is a common substance in cooked food that, if fed in even modest quantity to rats, causes the rats to get cancer…