Shallow-water habitats as sources of fallback foods for hominins.

@article{Wrangham2009ShallowwaterHA,
  title={Shallow-water habitats as sources of fallback foods for hominins.},
  author={Richard W. Wrangham and Dorothy L. Cheney and Robert M. Seyfarth and Esteban E Sarmiento},
  journal={American journal of physical anthropology},
  year={2009},
  volume={140 4},
  pages={
          630-42
        }
}
Underground storage organs (USOs) have been proposed as critical fallback foods for early hominins in savanna, but there has been little discussion as to which habitats would have been important sources of USOs. USOs consumed by hominins could have included both underwater and underground storage organs, i.e., from both aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Shallow aquatic habitats tend to offer high plant growth rates, high USO densities, and relatively continuous USO availability throughout the… 

Figures from this paper

Taking Stock of Foodplants Growing in the Cradle of Humankind Fossil Hominin Site, South Africa

Despite a century’s work in the UNESCO Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site in South Africa, there has been no systematic consideration of the area’s full foodplant regime when palaeo-scientists

Grass leaves as potential hominin dietary resources.

Isotopic evidence for an early shift to C4 resources by Pliocene hominins in Chad

Carbon isotope data show that Australopithecus bahrelghazali individuals from Koro Toro in Chad are significantly enriched in 13C, indicating a dependence on C4 resources, extending the pattern of C4 dependence seen in Paranthropus boisei in East Africa by more than 1.5 million years.

Dietary options and behavior suggested by plant biomarker evidence in an early human habitat

Taken together, plant biomarkers, clustered bone debris, and hominin remains define a clear spatial pattern that places animal butchery amid the refuge of an isolated forest patch and near freshwater with diverse edible resources.

Quantifying seasonal fallback on invertebrates, pith, and bromeliad leaves by white-faced capuchin monkeys (Cebus capucinus) in a tropical dry forest.

Capuchins are convergent with hominins in possessing large brains and high levels of sensorimotor intelligence, thus their research has broad implications for primate evolution, including factors shaping cognitive innovations, brain size, and the role of entomophagy in the human diet.

Isotopic reconstructions of habitat change surrounding the extinction of Oreopithecus, the last European ape.

  • S. NelsonL. Rook
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    American journal of physical anthropology
  • 2016
Isotopic reconstructions of Oreopithecus' habitat and changes associated with its extinction indicated that its paleoecology was unique among hominoids, however, these reconstructions also suggested that like other hominoid, Oreopitalcus was susceptible to changes in seasonality of precipitation, and it may have used wetlands as a buffer to seasonal regimes.
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 185 REFERENCES

Savanna chimpanzees use tools to harvest the underground storage organs of plants

The discovery that savanna chimpanzees use tools to obtain USOs contradicts yet another claim of human uniqueness and provides a model for the study of variables influencing USO use among early hominins.

The rise of the hominids as an adaptive shift in fallback foods: plant underground storage organs (USOs) and australopith origins.

Wetlands or Aquatic Ape? Availability of Food Resources

  • D. Ellis
  • Environmental Science
    Nutrition and health
  • 1993
A human evolutionary scenario including an ape inhabiting marine wetlands is rational in a number of contexts. The concept is viable ecologically due to the availability of abundant animal foods in a

Mechanical Properties of Plant Underground Storage Organs and Implications for Dietary Models of Early Hominins

The mechanical properties of USOs from 98 plant species from across sub-Saharan Africa found that rhizomes were the most resistant to deformation and fracture, followed by tubers, corms, and bulbs, and the results support assumptions that roasting lessens the work of mastication, and, by inference, the cost of digestion.

What Insights Can Baboon Feeding Ecology Provide for Early Hominin Niche Differentiation?

The absence of a fixed-diet in papionins implies that it was unlikely that the more ecologically flexible hominins evolved specializations for any one food type, an interpretation consistent with recent carbon isotope, dental microwear, and ecomorphological studies.

Africa's wild C4 plant foods and possible early hominid diets.

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.
...