Human Bones Lighter, More Fragile with the Switch from Foraging to Farming

December 23, 2014 2:41 PM

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While it would seem that moving from the hunter-gatherer lifestyle to an agricultural existence was largely beneficial, its impact on our skeletons presents a different argument. Over thousands of years of evolution, human bones have become much lighter and more fragile with the switch from foraging to farming, according to new research.

About 7,000 years ago, bone mass was approximately 20 percent higher in foragers - comparable in strength to modern orangutans - whereas just 6,000 years later farmers from the same region had lighter and more breakable bones.

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