Wild Things: Tarantulas, Jellyfish and More...- page 3 | Science | Smithsonian
Female Chilean rose tarantula (Grammostola rosea), also known as the Chilean flame tarantula. (John C. Abbott)

Wild Things: Tarantulas, Jellyfish and More...

Hummingbirds, attacking bears, ancient hominids and other news updates in wildlife research


Paranthropus boisei
(Barbara Strnadova / Photo Researchers, Inc.)
Name: Paranthropus boisei, a human relative that lived in East Africa from about 2.3 million to 1.2 million years ago.
Dentition: Its massive jaw and flat molars gave rise to the belief that its diet consisted of nuts, which other nearby primates ate also. Its nickname is “Nutcracker Man.”
Nutrition: A new analysis of carbon isotopes in teeth from 22 individuals strongly suggests that P. boisei ate grasses and sedges instead.
Competition: “It was not competing for food with most other primates,” says Kevin Uno of the University of Utah, a researcher on the new study, “but with grazers”—ancestors of today’s zebras, pigs and hippos.

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