Nutcracker Man strangely preferred fruits

By | May 7, 2008

An early human with a big mouth made for chomping strangely preferred to eat soft, squishy fruits, new dental analyses suggest.

The finding — the big guy’s teeth showed only light wear — might force scientists to downgrade everything they thought they knew about hominids’ diets. For starters, the findings could cause this hominid, Paranthropus boisei, to relinquish rights to its long-held moniker, the Nutcracker Man, in the eyes of anthropologists.

The Nutcracker Man lived from about 2.3 million years ago to 1.2 million years ago, before vanishing from the fossil record. He boasted a huge jaw with massive chewing muscles and flat, tough teeth whose crushing power could obliterate the roots and nuts of his home on the African savanna. – msnbc

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