Friday, February 18, 2011

Persistence Hunting

Apparently there are some tribes in Africa that run down an animal and then kill it. They do so by persistently tracking it and making it tired, and since animals are adapted at sprinting with very few sweat glands, hence their bodies end up over heating. Humans, with no body hair and numerous sweat glands can persist in really hot and humid conditions which gives them an upper hand in this form of hunting.

Now this seems to be a plausible idea.

  1. Humans have lots of sweat glands
  2. No body hair
  3. Tracking capabilities
  4. Domesticated dogs probably for persistence hunting
The problem with this approach is that it feels modern. Why would anyone risk tracking 40 km a day when there are really really wild animals out their. Why would anyone expose themselves to the elements in that way. Since humans are probably extremely intelligent hence they wouldn't really stoop this low except out of desperation.

Why the idea seems incorrect

  1. Small stomachs, we really can't eat a lot. Our stomachs are much smaller than our cousins. And if we started running marathons every day for food then we would simply die of hunger.
  2. We sweat a lot, which also means we need to drink a lot. 50,000 years ago there wasn't bottled water available to replenish the amount lost.
  3. We expend more energy chasing food which wouldn't even provide half the energy wasted chasing it. The math simply doesn't add up.
  4. We are intelligent, we can set up traps, ambush animals etc. There really is no need to go after large animals.
  5. Spears wouldn't really be necessary if a goat is being chased down.

No comments:

Post a Comment