Human Evolution

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 229-234

First online:

Human adaptations to meat eating

  • M. HennebergAffiliated withDepartment of Anatomical Sciences, University of Adelaide
  • , V. SarafisAffiliated withCentre for Microscopy and Microanalysis, The University of Queensland
  • , K. MathersAffiliated withDepartment of Anthropology, University of California

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It is argued that Homo sapiens is a habitual rather than a facultative meat eater. Quantitative similarity of human gut morphology to guts of carnivorous mammals, preferential absorption of haem rather than iron of plant origin, and the exclusive use of humans as the definitive host by Taenia saginata and the almost complete human specificity of T. solium are used to support the argument.


australopithecinae Tacniods parasites hominids