No nuts for you, Nutcracker Man | Science News

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No nuts for you, Nutcracker Man

Huge-jawed human relative possessed 'graze' anatomy

3:23pm, May 2, 2011

A jut-jawed, peg-toothed member of humans’ evolutionary family has chemically vetoed its 50-year-old nickname — Nutcracker Man.

Far from eating nuts, seeds and other hard foods seemingly suited to its viselike jaws, this now-extinct hominid mainly munched grasses and flowering plants called sedges, which include papyrus, says a team led by geochemist Thure Cerling of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

Nutcracker Man, known formally as Paranthropus boisei, competed for food in swampy parts of East Africa with grazing animals such as ancestral zebras and pigs, Cerling’s team

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