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A professor who eats peanuts in the shell, apple cores, cactus fruit and an occasional ant believes most people could live to be 100 if they adopted the diet of prehistoric man.

"If we just ate the diet they ate and with the advances of modern medicine, proper exercise and the pampered lifestyle we have, there's no reason we couldn't make it to 100," Vaughn Bryant Jr., the head of Texas A&M University's anthropology department, said this week.Bryant, who has been following such a diet since the mid-1970s, has a regular midafternoon snack of peanuts in the shell.

"Marvelous," he said. "You can eat these all day long. A doctor told me they're just like a Brillo pad going through your intestines."

Bryant, who has a doctorate in botany and is an expert on pollen, said he began pursuing the caveman diet because he needed to shed 30 pounds and the fad diets of the day did not work for him.

The professor said he drew the line at lizards and crickets.

"I tried eating sawdust by mixing it with flour and making it into pancakes," he said. "I didn't like the pine sawdust too much - too much rosin. And I've eaten a few ants. They're a little bitter."