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Neanderthal Dental Plaque Shows What a Paleo Diet Really Looks Like
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"We need to revamp the view of Neanderthals as these meat-eating, club-toting cavemen,” adds Weyrich. “They had a very good understanding of what foods were available to them".

Weyrich’s results matches all of these earlier ones, and portrays Neanderthals as adaptable and versatile. “Those that occupied southern regions with relatively warm climates, consumed different types of foods, including meat and vegetables,” says Luca Fiorenza from Monash University, who was not involved in the study. “But Neanderthals that lived in very harsh conditions, such as northern Europe, were forced to rely on the limited sources available—meat.”

The mouth microbiomes of the various Neanderthals were as different as their diets. Those form the largely vegetarian individuals from El Sidron were closer to the microbial communities in chimps and Stone Age human gatherers. Those of the Spy Neanderthal clustered with other humans who eat more meat, including European hunter-gatherers and African cattle-farmers. These results suggest that you can use the microbes preserved within fossilized plaque to work out what their long-dead owners may have eaten.


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https://www.theatlantic.com/science/arch...ke/518949/
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