Buzz started to build about a decade ago around the meat-heavy paleo diet — an approach to eating that’s based on what our Stone Age relatives supposedly liked to consume.
But the truth is that we know relatively little about what our earliest ancestors ate, and what we’ve learned in recent years suggests that there was more than just mammoth steak on the menu.
Groundbreaking new discoveries, including some featured in this week’s CNN science newsletter, have revealed that the diets of early humans were surprisingly varied and that those ancient meals may have involved more sophisticated preparations than previously thought.
Neanderthals who lived 90,000 years ago in a seafront cave in what’s now Portugal regularly caught and ate crabs, roasting them on coals, according to a new study.
The finding is significant because it builds upon evidence challenging the long-standing notion that a taste for seafood — rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are important for brain growth — was one of the unique factors that made our own species, Homo sapiens, cognitively smarter than our extinct Neanderthal counterparts.
Meanwhile, in Kenya, another archaeological dig has revealed that early hominins feasted on hippo 2.9 million years ago, butchering the carcasses with the help of distinctive and unexpected implements.
In the HBO show “The Last of Us,” characters identify zombies among them by the fungi that burst from their bodies. Those fungal parasites manipulate their hosts to infect the communities around them, creating more monsters as a consequence. (HBO, like CNN, is a unit of Warner Bros. Discovery.)
In real life, the type of fungus that inspired the story, Ophiocordyceps, affects insects and does not cause problems for people.
However, the threat from fungal pathogens is increasing, experts say, and may grow much worse in a warmer, wetter and sicker world.
The climate crisis may also be contributing to the rise of drug-resistant superbugs, a new UN report has warned, with rising temperatures increasing the rate of bacterial growth and the rate of the spread of antibiotic-resistant genes between microorganisms.