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Ancestral Human Diets Being Revealed Through Teeth Examination

October 26, 2016
by Erin Ross, NPR

When scientists want to know what our ancient ancestors ate, they can look at a few things: fossilized animal bones with marks from tools used to butcher and cut them; fossilized poop; and teeth. The first two can tell us a lot, but they’re hard to come by in the fossil record. Thankfully, there are a lot of teeth to fill in the gaps.

“They preserve really well,” explains Debbie Guatelli-Steinberg, a dental anthropologist at Ohio State University. “It’s kind of convenient because teeth hold so much information.”

The structure of a tooth and even the amount of enamel, for example, hint at what the teeth are adapted to eat.

To view the full story, please visit: http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/10/25/497094756/dental-detectives-what-fossil-teeth-reveal-about-ancestral-human-diets

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