Homo sapiens cooking photo © Kelly B.

Homo culinarius or Homo fermentarius?

Fermentation of plums photo © brankmaster

The modern human species is the only vertebrate on Earth which ferments food outside the body before eating it. Although all species of our genus can be assumed to have cooked food, the development of fermentation was restricted to the modern human because it requires the development of relatively advanced artefacts. It is accepted that our weak dentition has evolved with cooking; however, a new possibility is that our colon and appendix have been similarly reduced owing to a parallel externalisation of what was ancestrally an internal process.

Robin and the Honey Badger, 8 January 2017