Prehistoric Plaque Now Tells Us What Neanderthals Actually Used To Eat

As you can imagine, Neanderthals didn’t have the best dental hygiene.  Unfortunately, dentists weren’t around 50,000 years ago (and, no, The Flintstones don’t count!).  Luckily, the Neanderthals’ bad teeth have recently been great for science.

Scientists have been able to figure out what our ancient ancestors actually ate by studying the plaque (or tartar) on their teeth.  Yes, the stuff your dentist has to scrape off your pearly whites when you swing by to have your 6-month visit.

It turns out that your average everyday caveman didn’t dine on the stereotypical mammoths and saber-toothed tigers.  Neanderthals who lived in Spain about 50,000 years ago were almost vegetarian (consuming leafy greens and mushrooms)…where those in Belgium (around 40,000 years ago) ate lots of meat (mostly wild sheep and woolly rhino).

Sounds like a remixed “Paleolithic Diet,” huh?

Source: USA Today

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