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cooking & brain growth?

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  • Marc Verhaegen
    news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2012/11/live-chat-did-cooking-lead-to-b.html ?ref=em
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 10 2:17 AM
    • Marc Verhaegen
      I just sent them this (comments): We don t have to hypothesize here unique (human-specific) explanations such as cooking IMO. When we simply use the
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 10 4:47 PM
        I just sent them this (comments):

        We don't have to hypothesize here unique (human-specific) explanations
        such as cooking IMO. When we simply use the comparative evidence and
        accept that what is true for other animals is also true for humans, the
        Pleistocene brain expansion in archaic Homo is not so difficult to
        1.8 Ma-old erectus-like people are found all over the Old World, from
        Mojokerto to Georgia to Algeria & Lake Turkana. These places were not
        connected through open plains, as is still believed by some
        anthropologists ("Savannahstan", "born to run", "endurance running" etc.).
        Instead, in all these sites, there were abundant shellfish (Stephen Munro
        2004). Aïn-Hanech in Algeria was a coastal floodplain. Dmanisi in Georgia
        was a "lake or pond rich in lacustrine resources" not far from the
        connection at the time between the Caspian Sea & the Black Sea. At Lake
        Turkana, Homo appeared together with stingrays, which suggests marine
        connections then (José Joordens 2011). And the Mojokerto child was found
        amid barnacles & saltwater & freshwater molluscs (river delta).
        Obviously, Pleistocene Homo trekked along the coasts & from the coasts
        inland along the rivers, in savannahs & elsewhere. They collected all
        sorts of waterside foods, not only shellfish, turtles, birds' eggs etc.,
        but also drowned ungulates, stranded whales etc. & probably (difficult
        fossilisation) different plant foods. The consumption of shellfish not
        only helps explain human dexterity & perhaps bipedality (wading &
        beach-combing?) but also the Pleistocene brain expansion: very large
        brains are typical of littoral & marine mammals, and the abundance of
        brain-specific nutrients in aquatic foods (PUFAs such as DHA, iodine etc.)
        is an uncomparably better explanation of our "expensive tissue" (small gut
        & large brain) than the consumption of meat ("Survival of the fattest"
        Stephen Cunnane).
        Google "econiche Homo".

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