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Journal Article

Persistence Hunting by Modern Hunter‐Gatherers

Louis Liebenberg
Current Anthropology
Vol. 47, No. 6 (December 2006), pp. 1017-1026
DOI: 10.1086/508695
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/508695
Page Count: 9

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Topics: Hunting, Animals, Hunter gatherers, Hunting dogs, Deer hunting, Mammals, Dogs, Meats, Humans, Arrows
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Persistence Hunting by Modern Hunter‐Gatherers
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Abstract

Endurance running may be a derived capability of the genus Homo and may have been instrumental in the evolution of the human body form. Two hypotheses have been presented to explain why early Homo would have needed to run long distances: scavenging and persistence hunting. Persistence hunting takes place during the hottest time of the day and involves chasing an animal until it is run to exhaustion. A critical factor is the fact that humans can keep their bodies cool by sweating while running. Another critical factor is the ability to track down an animal. Endurance running may have had adaptive value not only in scavenging but also in persistence hunting. Before the domestication of dogs, persistence hunting may have been one of the most efficient forms of hunting and may therefore have been crucial in the evolution of humans.

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