Tina Lüdecke’s Photo of Herself Doing Fieldwork.
Tina Lüdecke’s Photo of Herself Doing Fieldwork.

Climate and Diet of Early Humans with Tina Lüdecke

Photo Courtesy of Tina Lüdecke.
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About This Episode

What were early humans like? What did they eat? What did they do? On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Matt Kirshen investigate the diet of early humans and the climate conditions of Earth during that time with geochemist Tina Lüdecke.

You’ll find out about Tina’s research studying early humans from 1-4 million years ago. We investigate what happened during the paleolithic era. How has the environment changed? Tina tells us how isotopes can be used as a “fingerprint” to understand the diet of early humans. You’ll learn why there isn’t just one paleo diet. 

We discuss meat consumption in early humans and how that changed the course of civilization. Were there any condiments used by early humans? Can you ever study fossilized food? Tina explains how we can study fossilized feces and we reminisce about Jurassic Park. 

Then, we answer fan-submitted Cosmic Queries. Can we learn anything from early humans that might help us adapt to climate change in the future? We explore the invention of cooking meat. You’ll find out why the advancements of cooked food helped our brains grow. All that, plus, we ponder what kind of evolutionary changes might occur due to the impact of climate change. 

Thanks to our Patrons Cristina Magistrali, Toren Wallengren, Eric Huffman, Julia Casey, Colton Siefker, Daniel Wenger, Matias Mancini, John Thompson, Chris Krish, and Alvero Wiggins for supporting us this week.

NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

About the prints that flank Neil in this video:

“Black Swan” & “White Swan” limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. For more information about this artist and her work, visit Inuit Gallery of Vancouver.

In This Episode

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