A report in this week's issue of Nature magazine reveals that an international research team based in Ethiopia has uncovered evidence that Australopithecus afarensis - human ancestors circa the skeleton colloquially known as "Lucy" - butchered animals, presumably for nutritious meat and bone marrow. Tool marks made by sharp, heavy rocks were found on 3.4 million-year-old fossilized rib and thigh bones from animals, indicating that humans began eating meat 800,000 years earlier than was previously believed.
Team member Shannon McPherron, an archaeologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, wrote in a statement released by the institute, "Now, when we imagine Lucy walking around the east African landscape looking for food, we can for the first time imagine her with a stone tool in hand and looking for meat." He noted that the animal bones in question come from an impala-sized creature and one closer in size to a bear.
PETA members might not see this as cause for celebration, but as staunch omnivores, we say honor your ancestors and roast up a couple of marrow bones for dinner.
6-8 beef or veal marrow bones, cut into 3" segments
Heat oven to 450F. Place marrow bone segments on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast until marrow is soft, but not dripping out. (Timing will vary according to individual ovens.)
Meanwhile, wash, dry and de-stem parsley. Toss with oil and lemon juice to taste.
Remove marrow bones from oven, scoop out marrow with a long, narrow spoon or knife and spread onto toasted bread slices.
Sprinkle with salt. Serve with parsley salad.
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