Visit Website | Image credit: Quentin Martinez
People who advocate adding insects to the human diet may be channeling their distant ancestors. Based on an analysis of the genomes of 107 different species of mammals, scientists conclude that our distant ancestors – the small, furry creatures that scurried around the feet of the dinosaurs 66 million years ago – were mostly insect eaters. The scientists inferred this because the genes for the enzymes that allowed these early ancestors of all mammals to digest insects are still hanging around in nearly all mammal genomes today. Even animals like tigers and seals that would never touch an insect have non-functional pieces of these genes sitting in their chromosomes, betraying their ancient ancestors' diet.