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Everyone poops, and that "everyone" includes an extinct species of prehistoric human: Neanderthals. Scientists in Spain say they've discovered fossilized Neanderthal excrement, which may shed light on what this close relative of modern humans ate some 50,000 years ago.
According to Business Insider, the Neanderthal diet may offer some real clues about how humans evolved and changed their eating habits in the past several thousand millennia:
Analysis of the samples provided a new understanding of the diet of this extinct human species, offering the first evidence that Neanderthals were omnivores who also ate vegetables as part of their meat-heavy diet, [the researchers] said.
"So far, it is the only fossil evidence that gives us information of the ingestion and the regular meals of our ancestors," said Ainara Sistiaga, a geoarchaeologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of La Laguna who was one of the researchers ...
"Understanding the diet of past human species closely related to our own will help us gain perspective on our evolutionary constraints and adaptability," Sistiaga added ...
Their findings indicate that Neanderthals predominantly consumed meat, as suggested by high amounts of one such "biomarker" called coprostanol formed by the bacterial reduction of cholesterol in the gut. But they also found evidence for significant plant intake as shown by the presence of a compound called 5 beta-stigmastanol, found in plant sources.
So, if you want to eat like a Neanderthal living 50,000 years ago in what is now Spain, make sure you get plenty of meat, along with some plants!
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