Cool Science

TIL: sour taste came first

  • Almost (?) all vertebrates can taste sour, despite not having much value in cueing nutritional or safety info, meaning it developed in the common ancestor – probably in the early fishlike creatures so they could detect the acidity of water
  • Humans are an oddity in not being able to generate vitamin C – which is probably why we like eating sour foods
  • Herbivorous pandas have lost the ability to taste umami and carnivorous cats have lost the taste for sweetness

Eons is a neat show.

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at She/her.

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