Hunting hypothesis


Hunting hypothesis

In paleoanthropology, the hunting hypothesis is the hypothesis that human evolution was primarily influenced by the activity of hunting, and that the activity of hunting distinguished human ancestors from other primates.

While it is undisputed that early humans were hunters, the importance of this fact for the final steps in the emergence of the "Homo" genus out of earlier Australopithecines, with its bipedalism and production of stone tools (from about 2.5 million years ago), and eventually also control of fire (from about 1.5 million years ago), are emphasized in the "hunting hypothesis", and de-emphasized in scenarios that stress the omnivore status of humans as their recipe for success, and social interaction, including mating behaviour as essential in the emergence of language and culture.

Advocates of the hunting hypothesis tend to believe that tool use and toolmaking essential to effective hunting were an extremely important part of human evolution, and trace the origin of language and religion to a hunting context.

Alternative theories on the "decisive" step in human evolution include the aquatic ape hypothesis.

ee also

*"Homo necans"
* Savanna theory
* Behavioral modernity
* Killer ape theory
* Hunter-gatherer
* Oldowan
* Acheulean
* Homo ergaster

References

* Robert Ardrey, "The Hunting Hypothesis: A Personal Inquiry into the Evolutionary Sources of Order and Disorder", Atheneum, New York 1970

External links

* [http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761566394_12/Human_Evolution.html] and [http://www.mnh.si.edu/anthro/humanorigins/faq/Encarta/culture.htm] - Discussion of the hunting hypothesis from Encarta
* http://www.indiana.edu/~origins/teach/P380/P380hominid.html
* [http://www.goanimal.com/newsletters/2005/man_hunter/man_hunter.html An article critical of the hunting hypothesis]


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