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ScienceDaily (Sep. 19, 2012) — A genetic mutation that occurred thousands of years ago might be the answer to how early humans were able to move from central Africa and across the continent in what has been called "the great expansion," according to new research from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
Archeological and genetic studies suggest that homo sapiens appeared approximately 180,000 years ago, but stayed in one location around bodies of water in central Africa for almost 100,000 years. Senior author Floyd H. "Ski" Chilton, Ph.D., professor of physiology and pharmacology and director of the Center for Botanical Lipids and Inflammatory Disease Prevention at Wake Forest Baptist, and others have hypothesized that this location was critical, in part, because early humans needed large amounts of the long-chain PUFA docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is found in shellfish and fish, to support complex brain function. "This may have kept early humans tethered to the water in central Africa where there was a constant food source of DHA," Chilton said. "There has been considerable debate on how early humans were able to obtain sufficient DHA necessary to maintain brain size and complexity. It's amazing to think we may have uncovered the region of genetic variation that arose about the time that early humans moved out of this central region in what has been called the 'great expansion.'"
Originally posted by IEtherianSoul9
reply to post by kdog1982
I remember reading somewhere that diet can facilitate the development of intelligence, especially in an evolutionary context.
What dates are you talking about? Anatomically modern humans evolved approximately 200,000 years ago. Colonization of the world is very recent - Southwest Asia/China (~60,000 ya), Europe (~35,000 ya) and America (~15,000 ya). Does this come in conflict with something?
inds from early stone age site in north-central Germany show that human ingenuity is nothing new – and was probably shared by now-extinct species of humans. Archeologists from the University of Tübingen have found eight extremely well-preserved spears – an astonishing 300,000 years old, making them the oldest known weapons anywhere. The spears and other artifacts as well as animal remains found at the site demonstrate that their users were highly skilled craftsmen and hunters, well adapted to their environment – with a capacity for abstract thought and complex planning comparable to our own. It is likely that they were members of the species homo heidelbergensis, although no human remains have yet been found at the site. Read more at: phys.org...