Diet may have been the engine of evolution

Diet may have been the engine of evolution

Evolution is a fantastic object of study. It offers us a perspective of the changes that have happened in the different organisms in their fight against the environment (and against the rest of organisms).

I would not mind stopping to comment on the evolution that the different species that populate the earth globe have had, but today it is the turn of our favorite ancestor; the Homo sapiens. He lived about 40,000 years ago with his relative on Homo neardenthalensis, with which you share certain similarities and differences. A smaller stature, wider pelvis and ribs and a generally thicker body.

But, if they coexist, what or how did the anatomical changes that characterized each one take place? The answer lies in the new study that brings us the Tel Aviv University, which reveals the cause of the changes that triggered anatomical differentiation in the Neanderthal; a protein-rich diet.

The changes that the diet brought about in the Neanderthal

The Neanderthal chest had to accommodate to make room for a bigger liverSince the diet needed to metabolize more energy and, as we well know, the liver is involved in metabolic processes of obtaining energy. But each piece of the puzzle must fit, and at the same time that the liver increased in size, the Renal System, to satisfy the increase in toxins, resulting in a wider pelvis.

But all these are not simple assumptions, as numerous studies show that a protein-rich diet is associated with changes in kidney and liver size.

And these changes are not so old, since in the first indigenous people of the Arctic, changes in the size of these two organs were already taking place when establishing a protein-rich diet and drinking large amounts of water to remove toxins. Miki Ben-Dor, from the Department of Archeology of the TAU.

Environment and diet, the same being

Although we talk about diet, it should be mentioned that this is a response to the adversity of the environment. During winters in the ice age, carbohydrates and fats were truly scarce, leaving the protein as the last alternative.

This perspective of evolution was already present in other studies, which demonstrated how fats played a crucial role in human evolution in the Homo erectusThey provided more energy.

But perhaps the most interesting thing about this study is the idea they presented in the conclusion. Did the ice age end with different life forms that failed to adapt? Or was Neardental’s dependence on large protein and fat-rich life forms part of its extinction? If we adjust the figures, this event would take place about 50,000 years ago, it does not seem crazy right?

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