Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Brucellosis In Australopithecus Africanus Skeleton: Evidence Of Meat Eating In Early Hominin?

Brucellosis is an infectious disease cause by the bacteria, Brucella sp. These bacterias localize in the reproductive organs of the host animals and are shed in large numbers through the animal's urine, milk, placental fluid and other fluids. Exposure to infected animals and animal products causes brucellosis in modern humans.

Does possible brucellosis diagnosis in early hominin skeleton Stw 431(Australopithecus africanus) from Sterkfontein, South Africa suggests that A. africanus occasionally eat meat? Maybe. That is what the paper Possible Brucellosis in an Early Hominin Skeleton from Sterkfontein, South Africa (D'Anastasio et al., 2009) is about. The presence of lesions on the vertebral bodies of Stw 431 was diagnosed as spondylosis deformans due to trauma but the authors suggest that these lesions were actually pathological changes from the initial phases of brucellosis.

eMedicine. 2010. Brucellosis. Retrieved January 05, 2010, from http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/213430-overview

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