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Monday, February 15, 2010

Steak Dinners Go Back 2.5 Million Years Options

Pic of the skull at the citation. Looks a little "longhorny"

Steak Dinners Go Back 2.5 Million Years
A new fossil skull of a bull confirms that beef has been "what's
for dinner" since the dawn of humans.

By Larry O'Hanlon | Tue Feb 9, 2010 04:05 AM ET

bull skull

The reconstructed skull of the newly found species of early bull from
Eritrea is shown with researchers Bienvenido Martinez-Navarro (left)
and Francisco Landucci.
Bienvenido Martinez-Navarro


* A new early bull species shows that cattle and humans evolved
* The fossil skull is a missing link between modern cattle and
their African ancestors.
* Early humans didn't herd cattle, but they most definitely hunted
them and ate them.

The discovery of a new "missing link" species of bull dating to a
million years ago in Eritrea pushes back the beef steak dinner to the
very dawn of humans and cattle.

Although there is no evidence that early humans were actually herding
early cattle 2.5 million years ago, the early humans and early cattle
certainly shared the same landscape and beef was definitely on the
menu all along, say researchers.

The telltale fossil is a skull with enormous horns that belongs to the
cattle genus Bos. It has been reassembled from over a hundred shards
found at a dig that also contains early human remains, said
paleontologist Bienvenido Martinez-Navarro of the Universitat Rovira i
Virgili in Tarragona, Spain. Martinez is the lead author of a paper
reporting the discovery in the February issue of the journal
Quaternary International.

"This means that the humans have been eating Bos since the beginnings
of the genus Homo," said Martinez, referring to the genus to which
humans belong.

Quaternary International
Volume 212, Issue 2, 1 February 2010, Pages 169-175
Quaternary Changes of Mammalian Communities Across and Between
doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2009.09.003 | How to Cite or Link Using DOI
Copyright © 2009 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA All rights reserved. Cited
By in Scopus (0)
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A new species of bull from the Early Pleistocene paleoanthropological
site of Buia (Eritrea): Parallelism on the dispersal of the genus Bos
and the Acheulian culture
Purchase the full-text article

References and further reading may be available for this article. To
view references and further reading you must purchase this article.

Bienvenido Martínez-Navarroa, Corresponding Author Contact
Information, E-mail The Corresponding Author, Lorenzo Rookb, E-mail
The Corresponding Author, Mauro Papinib, E-mail The Corresponding
Author and Yosief Libsekalc, E-mail The Corresponding Author

a ICREA, Institut Catala de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social,
Universitat Rovira i Virgili, 43005 Tarragona, Spain

b Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università di Firenze, 50121
Firenze, Italy

c National Museum of Eritrea, P.O. Box 5284, Asmara, Eritrea

Available online 18 September 2009.


The origin of the genus Bos is a debated issue. It has traditionally
been linked with that of the genera Leptobos and Bison, two Eurasian
forms. The oldest record of Bos, B. primigenius, in Eurasia is at
Venosa-Notarchirico, Italy (not, vert, similar0.5 to 0.6 Ma). However,
the oldest published evidence of modern Bos is a skull fragment from
Asbole, Lower Awash Valley, Ethiopia (not, vert, similar0.6 to 0.8
Ma). This paper describes a new species, Bos buiaensis, from Buia,
Eritrea (1.0 Ma). B. buiaensis shows a combination of primitive
characters of the African Late Pliocene and Early Pleistocene form
Pelorovis sensu stricto and derived characters of B. primigenius. This
new finding demonstrates that Bos has been part of the human
ecological landscape since the beginning of the genus Homo in the
African Late Pliocene.
Article Outline

1. Introduction
2. Description of the new species
3. Anatomical description of the holotype and comparison with other
species of the lineage of Bos, including Pelorovis sensu strictu, B.
acutifrons, B. planifrons and B. primigenius

3.1. Holotype specimen cranium DAN-244

4. Description of the other specimens
5. Discussion

Thumbnail image

Fig. 1. Map and generalized sections. Top right: satellite imagery
showing the location of the Buia study area. Left: generalized
stratigraphic section of the Buia basin succession and its
magnetostratigraphy. Right bottom: measured stratigraphic section of
the upper portion of Aalat Formation as outcropping at A094 site
showing the placement of Acheulean artefacts and Bos buiaensis n. sp.
type specimen.

View Within Article

Thumbnail image

Fig. 2. Type specimen of Bos buiaensis n. sp., skull DAN-244. (A)
Upper view; (B) left lateral view; (C) basal view; (D) right lateral
view; (E) posterior view; (F) augmented upper view; (G) augmented
posterior view; and (H) augmented view of the palate.

View Within Article

1 comment:

BookingAlong said...

This is definitely intriguing. I like the "Gist" section of this post, summing up the info. Thanks for posting this!