Do you ever feel you are so hungry, that you could eat a whole elephant? Well, people in stone age sure were. But according to scientists, the real treat was the elephant head. People back then scooped out and ate the elephants’ brains, but also their trunks, tongues, glands, and even their skulls and lower jaw bones. This takes our carnivory to whole new level, doesn’t it?
They might just have scavenged the remains of dead elephants killed by age or other predators.
A new study proposes, that palaeolithic people even took the elephant heads from site to site. On the other hand, the scientists are wondering if the elephants were too big for our ancestors to kill. They might just have scavenged the remains of dead elephants killed by age or other predators.
Scientists have discovered a number of elephant heads in different sites around the Old World. These heads belonged to a now-extinct elephant species, Palaeoloxodon antiquus, known as the straight-tusked elephant. It was a close relative to today’s Asian elephant, but it was a lot bigger. It was also by far the biggest meal people in the Stone age could hunt – five times bigger than the hippopotamus.
And how exactly did they extract nutritious parts out of the elephant head? They used to crush the skulls and jawbones of elephants to remove fat lying within its honeycomb bone structure. Fat could also be extracted from around a dead elephant’s eyes and from an organ only elephants possess, called the temporal gland, from which male elephants secrete when in musth. It looks like the next time you say you are hungry, you can easily say you are as hungry as a Palaeolithic person.