Early humans acted like monkeys and ate vegetables as part of their diet, new research says. As per a team of experts, ancient human ancestors known as ‘Little Foot’ or the first humans recorded to have the complete Australopithecus skeleton acted in a similar manner to monkeys as they were skilled at climbing and sleeping in trees as an attempt to hide from predators.
Researchers from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, recently discovered an interesting fact about the first civilization of humans, which lived approximately 37 million years ago.
Skilled in Climbing Trees
As they analyzed the remains of Little Foot humans, the team discovered that early humans slept in trees in order to survive in the jungle, which means they had a strong grip and toes to climb trees, just like monkeys.
“I could demonstrate that the shape of the inner ear was compatible with activities in the trees and the ground, which is confirmed by our new study of the atlas,” said Amélie Beaudet, the study’s main author.
Similar to chimpanzees, Little Foot humans spent up to eight or nine hours per day in trees in order to protect themselves from predators. Moreover, the scientists also found that these skeletons demonstrated that the early humans consumed vegetables, contrary to what most researchers claim that first humans hunt their food.
“The low investment of energy into the brain of Australopithecus could be tentatively explained by a relatively small brain of the specimen, a low-quality diet [low proportion of animal products] or high costs of other aspects of the biology of Australopithecus [such as upright walking],” Beaudet said. “In any case, this might suggest that the human brain’s vascular system emerged much later in our history.”
Little Foot Had Smaller Brains
Besides acting like monkeys and being vegetarian, the team also found out that Little Foot humans were only about over four feet tall, and had a smaller brain, in comparison to modern humans.
“Moreover, the reconstruction of the brain showed that it was three times smaller than ours and that the organization was very different from us, meaning that the emergence of a human-like brain occurred later in our history,” explained Beaudet. “Australopithecus had a small brain, large teeth, and males and females were really different from each other – while humans have a large brain, smaller teeth, and human males and females are less distinct.”