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Jaw breaker

Ancient human relatives were power chewers but ate softly

8:23pm, April 29, 2008

Nutcracker Man, a member of the human evolutionary family best known for having massive jaws, peglike teeth and huge chewing muscles, was just an old softy. Although most researchers have assumed that this now-extinct ancestor evolved to eat nuts, seeds and other hard or fibrous foods, it actually favored tender vittles such as nutrient-rich fruits, a new study finds.

Belonging to the species Paranthropus boisei, Nutcracker Man lived from 2.3 million to 1.2 million years ago in East Africa. It represented the final species in a side-branch of human evolution.

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