- Hunting hypothesis
paleoanthropology, the hunting hypothesis is the hypothesis that human evolutionwas primarily influenced by the activity of hunting, and that the activity of huntingdistinguished 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 bipedalismand 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 omnivorestatus of humans as their recipe for success, and social interaction, including mating behaviouras essential in the emergence of language and culture.
Advocates of the hunting hypothesis tend to believe that
tooluse and toolmakingessential to effective hunting were an extremely important part of human evolution, and trace the origin of languageand religion to a hunting context.
Alternative theories on the "decisive" step in
human evolutioninclude the aquatic ape hypothesis.
Killer ape theory
Robert Ardrey, "The Hunting Hypothesis: A Personal Inquiry into the Evolutionary Sources of Order and Disorder", Atheneum, New York 1970
* [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.goanimal.com/newsletters/2005/man_hunter/man_hunter.html An article critical of the hunting hypothesis]
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