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Humans are the first natural enemies for 2 million years



Researchers at Tel Aviv University were able to reconstruct the nutrition of humans in the Stone Age. In a paper published in the Annals of American Anthropology, Dr. Miki Ben-Dor and Professor Ran Barkai of the Department of Archaeology, Department of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University, and Prof. Ran Barkai, together with Raphael Sirtoli of Portugal, stated Human beings are an apex predator with a history of about 2 million years. Only the extinction of large animals (large animals) around the world and the reduction of animal food sources at the end of the Stone Age led humans to gradually increase the vegetable content in their nutrition. In the end, they had no choice but to domesticate animals and plants, and to become Farmers.

Dr. Ben-Dor explained: “So far, attempts to reconstruct the human diet in the Stone Age have been mainly based on comparisons with the hunter-gatherer society of the 20th century.”

; “However, this comparison is futile because two million years ago , The hunter-gatherer society can hunt and eat elephants and other large animals, but today’s hunter-gatherers cannot get this bounty. The entire ecosystem has changed and conditions cannot be compared. We decided to adopt other methods to rebuild the Stone Age Human diet: Check the memories stored in our own body, our metabolism, genetics and body structure. Human behavior changes rapidly, but evolution is slow. Human memory is still fresh.”

In an unprecedented process, Dr. Ben-Dor and his colleagues collected about 25 pieces of evidence from about 400 scientific papers in different scientific fields, and solved the following key questions: Whether humans in the Stone Age were specialized carnivores or generalists Omnivores? ? Most of the evidence is found in research on current biology, namely genetics, metabolism, physiology and morphology.

Dr. Ben-Door said: “A prominent example is the acidity of the human stomach.” “Compared with omnivores and even other predators, the acidity in our stomach is very high. It takes a lot of energy to produce and maintain strong acidity, and it The existence of edible animal products is evidence of the consumption of animal products. Strong acidity can protect the human body from harmful bacteria in meat, and prehistoric humans, they hunted large animals, the meat of these animals is enough for days or even weeks, and regular consumption contains Old meat with a lot of bacteria needs to maintain a high acidity. In the body of omnivores, fat is stored in a relatively small number of large fat cells, while in predators, including humans, the opposite: we have a lot of Small fat cells. The evolution of humans as predators has also been found in our genome. For example, geneticists have concluded that “regions of the human genome have been shut down to make a diet rich in t, while in chimpanzees In, the genomic region was opened up to achieve a sugar-rich diet. “

The evidence of human biology is supplemented by evidence from archaeology. For example, the study of stable isotopes in the bones of prehistoric humans and the unique hunting methods of humans indicate that humans specialize in hunting large and medium-sized animals with high fat content. Comparing humans with today’s large social predators, all of these people prey on large animals and derive more than 70% of their energy from animal resources. This further leads to the following conclusion: humans specialize in predating large animals and are actually carnivores.

Dr. Ben-Doer said: “Hunting large animals is not an afternoon hobby.” “It requires a lot of knowledge, lions and hyenas can achieve these abilities after years of learning. Obviously, the remains of large animals found in countless archaeological sites are human beings. The result of the high expertise of large animal hunters. Many researchers who study large animal extinctions agree that human hunting played a major role in this extinction-there is no better evidence that humans are professional in hunting large animals. Other archaeological evidence (for example, the fact that special tools for obtaining and processing vegetable food only appeared in the later stages of human evolution) also support the centrality of large animals in human diet in human history.”

TAU researchers have carried out a multidisciplinary reconstruction for nearly a decade, and have proposed a radical change in the understanding of human evolution. Contrary to the popular belief that human evolution and survival are due to the flexibility of diet, this diet allows humans to combine hunting animals with vegetable food. The picture that appears here is that humans evolved mainly as predators of large animals.

Dr. Bendor added: “The archaeological evidence does not ignore the fact that humans in the Stone Age also consumed plants.” “But according to the findings of this study, plants did not become a major part of human diet until the end of the era.”

The researchers concluded that starting from Africa about 85,000 years ago, and Europe and Asia about 40,000 years ago, evidence of genetic changes and the emergence of unique stone tools used in processing plants led the researchers to conclude: Diversity-according to different ecological conditions. This growth is accompanied by an increase in the uniqueness of the stone tool culture in the local area, which is similar to the diversity of material culture in the hunter-picking society in the 20th century. On the contrary, according to the researchers, during these 2 million years, humans were the apex carnivores. Regardless of the local ecological conditions, long-term similarities and continuities have been observed in stone tools.

Professor Barkai said: “Our research has resolved the current very big controversies, including scientific and non-scientific.” “For many people today, Paleolithic diet is not only the past, but also the present and the future. This is a crucial issue. It is difficult to convince a devout vegetarian that his/her ancestors were not vegetarians, and people tend to confuse personal beliefs with scientific reality. Our research is both multidisciplinary and cross-cutting. Disciplinary. We presented a picture unprecedented in inclusiveness and breadth, which clearly shows that humans were originally innate predators, specializing in the hunting of large animals. Darwin discovered that adapting species to obtain and digest food is an evolutionary change The main source, therefore, the claim that humans are predators for most of their development may provide a broad foundation for basic insights into human biology and cultural evolution.”

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