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Human Ancestors Ate Animal Brains Regularly, Study Reports

Update Date: May 06, 2013 09:34 AM EDT

Offal, which is the variety of internal organs and entrails found in animals, is eaten throughout the world. For some regions, eating offal is a norm while for others, offal is considered to be a delicacies. Although some people might never want to try intestines or stomach, a new study reports that human ancestors frequently ate animal brains. Although food was scarce and harder to acquire back then, the new discovery found that early humans enjoyed antelope and wildebeest brains.

According to the Science News, scientists uncovered sets of animal bones in the Kanjera South site of Kenya. After an analysis of these bones, the scientists believed that the ancestors who ate them were living in East Africa nearly two million years ago. The study, which was headed by anthropologist Joseph Ferraro from Baylor University in Waco, TX, discovered that these early humans, most likely to be a member of Homo erectus or Homo genus, enjoyed eating brains, which were believed to be a fatty and nutrient rich source of food.

The researchers believed that the early humans ate brains after discovering a disproportionally large amount of skulls and lower jaws in comparison to bones from the rest of the animals' bodies. Due to this finding, the researcher noted that the hominids might have taken the heads from animals that were already killed and eaten by other animals in the wild. Some of the skulls the researchers retrieved indicated that they might have been smashed in by a hammer, which would open up access to the brain.

The researchers concluded that many of the bones they found that originated from 81 different animals, were brought back to this region of Kenya. The gazelles and other small animals were all butchered, which suggested that these early humans knew how to sever dead animals into more accessible parts. The researchers, however, did not find evidence of fire, burned woods, or cooking tools, leading them to believe that the hunters ate the flesh and brains raw.

Although some people do eat brains in today's world, at least they are now cooked and seasoned.   

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