Fossil evidence suggests our distant ancestors’ diets became progressively more versatile over time and space. That variation was driven largely by environmental/climate change. So there is no single ancestral diet to which we should aspire. Peter Ungar is a distinguished professor and director of Environmental Dynamics at the University of Arkansas. He received his PhD from Stony Brook University and taught Gross Anatomy in the medical schools at Johns Hopkins and Duke before joining the UA faculty. Ungar is known for his work on the role of diet in human evolution. He has spent thousands of hours observing wild apes and other primates in the forests of Latin America and Southeast Asia, studied fossils from Tyrannosaurus to Neandertals, and developed new techniques for teasing information about evolution and diet from tooth shape and wear.
Ungar has written or coauthored more than 170 scientific works. His book, Mammal Teeth: Origin, Evolution, and Diversity, won the Association of American
Publishers award for best book in the biological sciences. Ungar’s work has been featured in documentaries on various TV Networks, and he has given dozens of invited talks and keynote addresses at venues around the world. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at