Some Neanderthals w...
 
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Some Neanderthals were vegetarian!


Principled
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Thought this was quite interesting. it rather explodes all the accepted theories.

Judy

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Tashanie
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It explodes a lot of what we thought we knew. I was more interested to learn they recognised the medicinal properties of plants

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Energylz
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Well I think if you look at various aspects of the animal kingdom, we see that a lot of species have a hierarchy, and also live in different environments, so I'm not surprised that some would have had more access to meat than others whether through their environment, or just because they were the stronger, or higher up the hierarchy, leaving others to only eat vegetation.
As for the medicinal properties, I think a lot of animals instinctively know what their body needs and will seek out foods or substances that will be of benefit. I think that's the process of evolution at work, that our senses can tell whether something will be good for us or not (even more so than just whether something tastes bitter or sweet or whatever)

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Crowan
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What strikes me about the article is it's full of 'gosh, we've found out this - stuff that no one suspected before!' And yet, there's nothing new other than the one study, which confirms rather than overturns our understanding of Homo neanderthalensis. Not that this is a criticism of the CS Monitor. The same story was run in 'Nature' and the Smithsonian. I suppose it sounds better than - hey, we've just done a study and the trends of thinking of the last decade are right.

As for the medicinal properties, I think a lot of animals instinctively know what their body needs and will seek out foods or substances that will be of benefit. I think that's the process of evolution at work, that our senses can tell whether something will be good for us or not (even more so than just whether something tastes bitter or sweet or whatever)

Except that no one has actually identified instincts in humans. I suspect that learning through observation and the practice of shamanism had more to do with it.

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Energylz
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And it was reported on the BBC a couple of days ago too.

Except that no one has actually identified instincts in humans

Really? Babies suckling milk is surely instinctive? As well as being revolted by things that taste bitter. Humans have lots of instincts. I certainly didn't learn those things through observation.

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Crowan
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And it was reported on the BBC a couple of days ago too.

Really? Babies suckling milk is surely instinctive? As well as being revolted by things that taste bitter. Humans have lots of instincts. I certainly didn't learn those things through observation.

Babies have to learn to suckle. If they are not taught, they cannot latch on properly. It is one of the main reasons that women think they cannot breast feed since, of course, the suckling has to be learned by the mother as well.
As for bitter tasting things, they are probably regarded as 'revolting' because our taste buds have been trained by the easy availability of sweetness in the modern world. Our tastes in food are trained from the moment we are born - sooner, maybe, since there is some evidence that tastes are formed in the womb, from what the mother eats. Food plants prior to intensive breeding were much more bitter - as can be still seen from foraged plants. Apparently, the bitterness starts our digestive juices working.

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