A bloke who died of constipation 1,000 years ago had gobbled on nothing but grasshoppers for months before his death, boffins said.
The unnamed man had been chowing down on the critters until he got so severely blocked up that he died.
Scientists have been experimenting on the mummified remains of the hungry fellow, who died an estimated 1,000-1,400 years ago in Texas.
The starving Native American had contracted Chagas disease, Live Science reported, which is caused by a parasite blocking up his gastrointestinal system.
His colon would have swollen up to six times the usual size – which is usual when someone is unable to digest properly and becomes malnourished.
Researchers reckon that for two to three months before he died, he munched on nothing by grasshoppers.
Experts said he would have been too weak to move, so villagers would have fed him bugs with the legs ripped off.
The theory would mean that this is one of the earliest examples of hospice care.
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Karl Reinhard, professor in the School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, said: “So they were giving him mostly the fluid-rich body — the squishable part of the grasshopper.
"In addition to being high in protein, it was pretty high in moisture. So it would have been easier for him to eat in the early stages of his megacolon experience.”
The mummy was found by Guy Skiles in 1937 and kept in a private museum until 1968. It has been used for scientific purposes since the 70s.
In the latest study, Reinhard and his colleagues analysed the mummy's remains using a scanning electron microscope.
That new scan revealed that his diet had consisted largely of grasshoppers in his final months.
Researchers also found evidence in his colon of plant remains called phytoliths that showed just how "backed up" the man would have been.
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