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Vegetarian Neanderthals? Extinct human relatives hid a mouthful of surprises

Vegetarian Neanderthals? Extinct human relatives hid a mouthful of surprises

It seems modern humans aren’t the only ones to have had regional cuisine. According to the plaque on their teeth, Neanderthals had striking differences in their diets, depending on where they lived — and they may have used plants and mold to treat illness and pain.

The findings, described this week in the journal Nature, mark the first and oldest dental plaque to be genetically analyzed. The research also sheds light on the relationship between humans and their closest extinct relatives while hinting at the complexity and diversity of Neanderthal life across Europe.

“The typical view of a...

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