sábado, 25 de junio de 2016

The people who ate elephant heads


Remains of a straight-tusked elephant (Credit: FunkMonk/CC by SA 3.0)
 
During the Stone Age, an elephant’s pate was the best meal on the menu

Ancient humans dined out by eating the massive heads of now extinct elephants.

According to new research, people living in Palaeolithic times, commonly known as the Stone Age, hunted elephants as a valuable source of food.

As well as eating their bodies, they made the most of the animals’ huge heads.

They scooped out and ate the elephants’ brains, but also their trunks, tongues, glands, and even their skulls and lower jaw bones.

That helps explain why early humans transported elephant heads with them as they travelled between sites.


The extent to which Palaeolithic humans ate elephants has been hotly debated.

It has long been accepted that early humans hunted and ate animals, as vital sources of proteins and fat.

“Carnivory has been a human trait from our earliest stage to today,” say researchers in a paper published in the journal Quaternary International.

But scientists have questioned whether elephants were too big to kill. Instead of actively hunting them, early humans might instead have scavenged the remains of dead elephants killed by age or other predators.

Now a new study not only concludes that elephants were hunted, but that their heads [...] BBC - Earth