Baby sea turtle with sand on it Baby sea turtle with sand on it Ever wanted to eat turtle? Maybe not, but research shows some ancient humans did. (Photo: David Silverman/Getty Images)

New discovery finds that humans ate turtles 400,000 years ago

And not the chocolate kind.

When's the last time you had turtle soup?

Even if you've never tried it, your ancestors may have. A new study found that cavemen ate turtles in addition to meat and plants.

Researchers at Israel's Tel Aviv University, in collaboration with scholars from Spain and Germany, have uncovered evidence of turtle specimens at the 400,000-year-old Qesem Cave site in Israel, a place home to a variety of ancient discoveries.

“The evidence shows they regularly ate turtle,” said Ran Barkai, an archaeologist at Tel Aviv University and one of the researchers who made the discovery. “It was a sort of supplementary dish, maybe like a dessert or an opener to dinner.”

The scientists studying the caves discovered turtle shells with burns, as well as turtle bones marked by stone tools, suggesting that cavemen sometimes roasted the animals over a fire and other times cut them up first.

“Somehow they cut them with stone knives, and most probably into small pieces," Barkai explained.

This research is a great example of just how broad early human diets were. The ancient peoples living in this cave ate deer, wild horses and cattle, as well as vegetable material.

“What we know now is that they also had turtle on the menu,” Barkai said.


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Related Topics: Animals