No nuts for you, Nutcracker Man

No nuts for you, Nutcracker Man

Huge-jawed human relative possessed 'graze' anatomy

By Bruce Bower, 14:42 PM 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...

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