Plant biomarker evidence of ancestral human lifestyle

Because most of the evidence of early humans derives from the fossil record, it is difficult to discern a great deal about their lifestyles and habits. Scientists can make inferences from skeletal morphology—jaw and teeth fossils can provide evidence of likely dietary habits, for instance. The influence of local resources on ancestral humans is therefore difficult to determine.
However, geologic studies can reveal a wealth of information about ancient localities that opens a new dialogue about dietary resources, refuge and habits. A collaborative of researchers from Rutgers University, Complutense University in Spain, and Pennsylvania State University have published the results of a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in which they analyzed exceptionally well preserved, 2 million-year-old organic geochemical biomarkers from different plant communities at Olduvai Gorge. —> Read More