Posted on

Grassland was a key element in human evolution

The Turkwel River in northern Kenya, where many key fossils have been found. Image: Kevin Krajick/Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Buried deep in seabed sediments off east Africa, scientists have uncovered a 24-million-year record of vegetation trends in the region where humans evolved. The record lends weight to the idea that we developed key traits–flexible diets, large brains, complex social structures and the ability to walk and run on two legs–while adapting to the spread of open grasslands.