[LMB] OT: Genetics & Culture

M R Dolbear fm little.egret at dolbear.fastmail.fm
Fri Nov 17 01:18:53 GMT 2017

On Thu, 16 Nov 2017, at 23:22, Matthew George wrote:
> No, the reason humans need dietary vitamin C is that for some unknown
> reason our distant ancestors lost the enzymatic pathway to synthesize it.
> Other mammals can make it - indeed, one reason Native Americans in the
> far
> north didn't get scurvy is that they ate certain organs, or all their
> meat,
> raw.  I vaguely recall one ethnologist discussing how after hunting a
> moose
> and butchering it for cooking and preservation, (I think) the adrenal
> glands were carefully cubed and distributed raw to everyone in the tribe.
> We survived despite losing the ability to make this essential nutrient
> because our early diets were rich in it.  But as far as anyone can
> determine, there's no benefit to having lost it.  Unlike the caecum or
> the
> vomeronasal organ, say.  (We technically still have a vestigal,
> nonfunctional version of both.)

> {NOT all} Other mammals can make it

Guinea pigs, Fruit eating bats can't.


 most bats, all guinea pigs, capybaras, and the Haplorrhini (one of the
 two major primate suborders, consisting of tarsiers, monkeys, and
 humans and other apes). Ascorbate is also not made by many species of
 birds and fish. All species that do not make ascorbate require it in
 the diet

Little Egret by email
Michael Dolbear in Walton-on-Thames

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