Humans Adapted to Rainforests Long Before We Thought

March 13, 2015 11:08 AM

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An international research team has shed new light on the diet of some of the earliest recorded humans in Sri Lanka. The researchers from Oxford Univ., working with a team from Sri Lanka and the Univ. of Bradford, analyzed the carbon and oxygen isotopes in the teeth of 26 individuals, with the oldest dating back 20,000 years. They found that nearly all the teeth analyzed suggested a diet largely sourced from the rainforest.

This study, published in the early online edition of the journal, Science, shows that early modern humans adapted to living in the rainforest for long periods of time. Previously it was thought that humans did not occupy tropical forests for any length of time until 12,000 years after that date, and...

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