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Making the case for early human migration into rain forests

In the past, researchers believed humans were almost exclusively adapted to savanna environments. Previous hypotheses suggested Homo sapiens … spread across the globe via open grasslands or coastlines… . Early human ancestors would have avoided dense environments like rain forests, the common thinking went, where prey was harder to catch. But now, Scerri and others are working to show that early humans adapted to many environments.

Take South Asia for example, where anatomically modern humans may have started arriving more than 70,000 years ago. … In a recent paper for Nature Communications, researchers from Max Planck [analyzed] more than 15,000 animal bones from Fa-Hien Lena cave in the jungle environment of southwestern Sri Lanka. The majority of the bones came from butchered monkeys and tree squirrels. The study authors concluded that humans living in the area from 45,000 years ago up to 4,000 years ago not only survived in the jungle environment but purposefully adapted their own way of living to do so.

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What’s more, [said Noel Amano, one of the authors of the Sri Lanka paper], the early Sri Lankans “were using the bones of these monkeys to fashion ornaments and tools.”

Read full, original post: Ancient Monkey Bone Tools Shake Up the Narrative of Early Human Migration to the Rain Forest

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