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Last updated on April 25, 2014 at 1:22 EDT

Latest Peter Ungar Stories

New Technologies Challenge Old Ideas About Early Hominid Diets
2011-10-14 07:11:32

New assessments by researchers using the latest high-tech tools to study the diets of early hominids are challenging long-held assumptions about what our ancestors ate, says a study by the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Arkansas. By analyzing microscopic pits and scratches on hominid teeth, as well as stable isotopes of carbon found in teeth, researchers are getting a very different picture of the diet habitats of early hominids than that painted by the physical...

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2011-04-18 10:20:00

What was really on the menus of our ancestors? For human ancestors, eating could be hard work. "Our ancestors were large creatures. With very low quality foods, without cooked foods, it's very likely that they would have spent a great deal more of their day eating than we do," says Peter Ungar, distinguished professor and chairman of anthropology at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Ungar's work, understanding ancient diets, is a combination of anthropology, biology, engineering,...

2008-04-30 16:39:41

An early human with a big mouth made for chomping strangely preferred to eat soft, squishy fruits, new dental analyses suggest. The finding - the big guy's teeth showed only light wear - might force scientists to downgrade everything they thought they knew about hominids' diets. For starters, the findings could cause this hominid, Paranthropus boisei, to relinquish rights to its long-held moniker, the Nutcracker Man, in the eyes of anthropologists. The Nutcracker Man lived from...

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2008-04-30 11:00:00

Human ancestor's teeth yields new cluesTiny marks on the teeth of an ancient human ancestor known as the "Nutcracker Man" may upset current evolutionary understanding of early hominid diet.Using high-powered microscopes, researchers looked at rough geometric shapes on the teeth of several Nutcracker Man specimens and determined that their structure alone was not enough to predict diet.Peter Ungar, professor of anthropology at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, contends the finding...

2005-08-04 17:37:01

A Penn State researcher is part of the team that developed techniques that have generated insights into dietary divergences between some of our human ancestors, allowing scientists to better understand the evolutionary path that led to the modern-day diets that humans consume. "Our new techniques are allowing us to get beyond simple dichotomies and helping us understand the processes by which dietary evolution is working," said Peter Ungar, professor of anthropology at the University of...