Human Brain Development

1772 Words 8 Pages
What made us human? What changed us so drastically compared to our closest relatives, the chimpanzees? The simple answer is that our brain changed us. But it is how the brain evolved to be so different from all other animal brains that is so extraordinary. The human brain continued to evolve and grow throughout our evolutionary phases. This drastic increase in brain size did not come from chance, adaptations and changes in how and what hominins consumed were leading causes in hominin brain growth.
The increase in human brain size is attributed to multiple factors, but the implementation of cooking and tool use are at the forefront. Decreasing tooth and gut size, evidence of tool use on fossils, and the human body’s needs for proper nourishment
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Nutritionist Corinna Koebnick and colleagues studied 513 raw-foodists with who ate between 70 percent and 100 percent raw food in their diets. The average weight loss when changing from a cooked to a raw diet was 26.5 pounds for women and 21.8 pounds for men. They found that a third of the study subjects had a chronic energy deficiency, leading them to conclude that “a strict raw food diet cannot guarantee an adequate energy supply.” This study was done on modern humans living in Germany, where subjects went shopping for foods at grocery stores and were not out foraging during the day for their food. This distinct difference in how food was acquired raises the question, if a third of the study population had deficient energy while shopping for their food, would the diet support a foraging lifestyle (Wrangham, …show more content…
They had the ability to hunt larger animals, further increasing the amount of meat in their diet. Before hunting become a regular part of Homo erectus lifestyle the ability to work as a team was necessary. When hunting large animals and keeping scavenging animals away working with one another was important for a successful hunt. But the anatomy of Homo erectus, small jaws and small teeth, was not ideal for eating large amounts of raw meat, and yet they did. Their ability to eat and digest the meat that came from their kills is due to cooking. Wrangham suggests that the beginnings of cooking could date back to 1.9 million years ago, this hypothesis is based on the reduction of tooth size. By cooking the animal meat, it becomes more tender and much easier to chew and digest while still retaining a caloric gain. This is the beginning of hunter-gatherer communities (Wrangham,

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