Is Your Salmon Small Because of Hungry Cavemen?

Photo of an Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar).

Stone Age hunters didn’t need to tell fish tales—the fish they caught really were whoppers, according to a new study.

Remains of prehistoric fish dinners from caves in northern Spain suggest that Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and brown trout (Salmo trutta) have shrunk significantly in size over the past 20,000 years—from a combined average of up to 5 pounds (2.2 kilograms) to about a pound (0.4 kilogram).

A fisherman releases an Atlantic salmon into Norway’s Orkla River in September 2008. Photograph by Wild Wonders of Europe/Lundgren/National Geographic

What’s more, it’s because of our ancient ancestors’ fishing skills that rivers in the region today are populated with much smaller fish, according to a team of scientists from the University of Oviedo in Spain. (See “Hot Stew in the Ice Age? Evidence Shows Neanderthals Boiled Food.”)

That’s because the scientists suspect that the Stone Age fishers deliberately targeted larger specimens.

“Bigger fish will be more valuable as food,” said archaeologist Pablo Turrero, who led the study. “They would only have caught the small fish if they absolutely had to because there was nothing else.”

Over time, prehistoric hunters’ preference for catching big ones caused salmon and trout to downsize, because proportionally more —> Read More Here

3 Things You Can Literally Learn In Your Sleep

If someone suggested you play music or light a scented candle while you slept to better remember what you learned earlier in the day, you’d probably laugh.

But while you might not be able exchange a night of studying for playing some jazz while you snooze, there are some surprising skills you can strengthen overnight — some simply by playing a specific tune or by infusing your bedroom with a distinct smell.

—> Read More Here

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