Re: [AAT] cooking & brain growth?
- 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"
Google "econiche Homo".