Hominid Dietary Selection Before Fire [and Comments and Reply]

  title={Hominid Dietary Selection Before Fire [and Comments and Reply]},
  author={Ann Brower Stahl and Robin I. M. Dunbar and Katherine Homewood and Fumiko Ikawa-Smith and Adriaan Kortlandt and William C. McGrew and Katharine Milton and James D. Paterson and Frank E. Poirier and Jito Sugardjito and Nancy Makepeace Tanner and Richard W. Wrangham},
  journal={Current Anthropology},
  pages={151 - 168}
Control of fire was apparently acquired rather late in the course of hominid evolution. It is therefore necessary, in the study of dietary selection by early hominids, to consider the range of plants that would have proven inedible without cooking. Some plants contain toxins or digestibility-reducing compounds, and some plant constituents are indigestible. Cooking mitigates the impact of toxins and renders complex carbohydrates more digestible. Plant foods high in cellulose and/or starch are… 

Diet and food preparation: Rethinking early hominid behavior

It is argued that hunting rather than scavenging, together with technologically assisted extractive foraging and food preparation, was an essential parts of the earliest hominid behavioral repertoire.

Nature and variability of human food consumption.

  • D. Southgate
  • Biology, Medicine
    Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences
  • 1991
The early human diet was characteristically extremely varied, and a wide range of plant species and plant organs were consumed, and the preference for sweet tastes would have protected humans from eating bitter, toxic plants.

The plant component of an Acheulian diet at Gesher Benot Ya‘aqov, Israel

The earliest known archive of food plants found in the superimposed Acheulian sites excavated at Gesher Benot Ya’aqov, Israel is reported on, shedding light on hominin abilities to adjust to new environments and exploit different flora, facilitating population diffusion, survival, and colonization beyond Africa.

Blood, Bulbs, and Bunodonts: On Evolutionary Ecology and the Diets of Ardipithecus, Australopithecus, and Early Homo

It is argued that early hominid diet can best be elucidated by consideration of their entire habitat-specific resource base, and by quantifying the potential profitability and abundance of likely available foods.

The isotopic ecology of African mole rats informs hypotheses on the evolution of human diet

The isotopic ecology of African mole rats is examined, finding that δ18O and δ13C of enamel and bone apatite from fossil and modern species distributed across a range of habitats overlap and conclude that the USO hypothesis for hominin diets retains certain plausibility.

Characteristics of an Early Hominid Scavenging Niche [and Comments and Reply]

The characteristics of scavenging opportunities in the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater are here documented and applied to the Plio/Pleistocene East Turkana and Olduvai lake basins. The

Plant Diversity in the Human Diet: Weak Phylogenetic Signal Indicates Breadth

It is argued that the remarkable breadth of the human diet is the result of humans' huge geographic range, diverse food-collection methods, and ability to process normally inedible items, and Humans are thus generalist feeders in the broadest sense.



Food selection by black colobus monkeys (Colobus satanas) in relation to plant chemistry

It is proposed that relative importance of digestion-inhibitors, low nutrient content and toxins as constraints on food selection by generalist herbivores will vary greatly among forests with different nutrient and secondary chemistry profiles.

Factors Influencing Leaf Choice by Howler Monkeys: A Test of Some Hypotheses of Food Selection by Generalist Herbivores

The results support the hypothesis that more than one factor determine howler leaf choices, and suggest that the protein: fiber ratio may be a good predictor of leaf choices.

Paleodietetics: A Review of the Role of Dietary Fiber in Preagricultural Human Diets

It is now apparent that during the last 20,000 years, the human diet has undergone a series of far reaching “revolutions,” the overall trend of which has been away from a coarse, plant-based regime of foraged leafy greens, seeds, stalks, roots, flowers, and other tissues, to a more limited, often monotypic, diet based primarily on a few cereal grains, tubers, and legumes.

Natural Diet of Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii): Long-Term Record from the Mahale Mountains, Tanzania

Since drastic inter-annual changes in food composition in the diet of wild chimpanzees exist, only such data collected on the basis of a long-term perspective can re· veal their diversified food repertoire.

The Early Hominid Plant-Food Niche: Insights From an Analysis of Plant Exploitation by Homo, Pan, and Papio in Eastern and Southern Africa [and Comments and Reply]

Six plant genera (four providing edible fruits) are the first genera to be identified as members of the most probable early-hominid fundamental plant-food niche.

The impact of plant secondary compounds on primate feeding behavior

The observed selectivity and preferences of primates for specific plant or insect species and parts are now viewed as strategies for dealing with the nutrient and secondary compound content variation in these foods.

Water-plant and soil consumption by guereza monkeys (Colobus guereza) : a relationship with minerals and toxins in the diet?

A comparison of estimated mineral intakes and requirements suggests that the dry-land diet of the guereza population may be deficient in sodium, and perhaps barely sufficient in copper, manganese, and zinc.

An Analysis of Diet Selection by Large Generalist Herbivores

  • M. Westoby
  • Environmental Science
    The American Naturalist
  • 1974
A property of this "optimization model" is that the contribution of a food to the diet will sometimes vary with the food's content of a particular nutrient and sometimes will not, which might explain why no consistent relations of this kind have been found experimentally.

The seed-eaters : a new model of hominid differentiation based on a baboon analogy

Despite years of theorising, and a rapidly accumulating body of fossil evidence, physical anthropology still lacks a convincing causal model of hominid origins. Diverse lines of evidence point to a

The behavioural ecology of chimpanzees in Gombe National Park, Tanzania

Chimpanzees are found to have an intimate knowledge of their environment and its food sources; the data do not support previous suggestions that the function of dispersal and aggregation to locate foods is supported.