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November 18, 2004

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Unconvincing.

The 2 Million Year posit corresponds with the emergence of H. Habilis.
H. Habilis was a tool user - and more important possessed the first significant cranial expansion in the
Homo tree.
Climate models suggest a rapid deforestation and spread of aridity within the same period. Not enough time to evolve running.
Also - Habilis' foot is completely unsuited for running resembling Afarensis more than that of H. Erectus.

Running is not the key. The key is Dietary shift due to climate change and increase in neural capability. Humans did not evolve to become pursuit predators - They evolved to become Tool-Users. This is just so obvious. Follow the Tools.

Furthermore; most Savanna animals only date to about 1 Million years AFTER Habilis. So who is Habilis hunting? Who is he outrunning?

Facial features changed to accomodate eating demands.

That cranial features changed for physical reasons with as per running is nonsense. Cranial features changed to accomodate a larger brain size.

I stick with the current model. Running came into being as a by-product of Walking. Humans are still lousy runners. So you outrun - say, an Antelope - and you've still got energy to knock it down with a primitive pointy spear? NO.

Climate Change - Dietary Shift - Brain Size - Tools and Walking - Pure Scavengers.

Humans did not evolve to become Hunters. The so called Hunters and Gatherers category is just nonsense. The Kung San do more Gathering than Hunting. They certainly dont hunt big game - at least, not until the Dutch gave them guns. They were approriately Foragers. Nuts, Berries and Rodents. No big game.

In this scenario; you dont need running. Just walk around and have a really keen eye.

Furthermore - Can Humans outrun say Horses or Zebras? Resounding No. We've tried many times.
Is it then that the trait has been selected against? If so - why?
Seems to me then that Running was more of a byproduct.

Then again - Pursuing Predators to get to their kill? Doesnt make any sense. Humans are also prey and most predators dont run for long distances to get to the Kill. Again - just walk really quietly, keep in the undergrowth, wait until Cheetah is finished and Scavenge. No running is needed.

Again - Scavengers amongst Animals DONT Run. Ever seen a Hyena running? Theyre lousy runners. They just lumber around, hang around and take the remains. No running needed.
Compare the speed of Hyenas to that of Wolves (Predators) - WIDE Gap.

Indeed; for a lifestyle geared more towards scavenging; the predisposition to run is a clear disadvantage. What are you running for? To get eaten? Oh! But they could be running to outrun other scavengers (Some say). Nonsense. First instinct is preservation, because the predator could eat you too.

Humans are walkers. They migrate by walking - not by long distance walking. When searching for food as a Human you are programmed to walk - not run.
Migration -> Walking.
Running is a byproduct.

The tools of Habilis dont make sense in Predatory scenario. They make more sense in a scenario where Humans are more appropriately Foragers and Scavengers - and in this scenario; The predisposition to run is a liability (What? Run past all the berries?). Crack bones, spear a few rats, no big game, gather a few berries. More protein anyhow and thats it.

I would really love to see the evolutionary tree for Myoglobin and Hb concentrations (Homo vs Neotragus) over time.

I mean - Humans evolving to become Pursuit Predators?

I noticed the dishonesty of the article when it talks about Outrunning prey among the San. Most of the Sans food is vegetable stuff. Mongongo Nuts and Berries account for about 70% of San diet. 70% Fat and 16% Protein. These are not people who evolved to be big game Hunters! They evolved to be berry pickers and the buttock is for Insulation and Energy. Not for Running.

Consider also - Hows Habilis gonna chew Antelope meat RAW? Theres a lot of Jaw power required for that. Selection is not going to Favor chewing Raw stuff.

Selection favors tool useage in a foraging scenario - nothing fancy, nothing ambitious, no big game - just crack coconuts, shear meat off bones, crack bones for marrow, No big game hunting.


-keith in mtn. view

Maybe they got it backwards. Running is also useful, perhaps the most useful, in order to out-run other predators and avoid becoming prey.
They say a rabbit runs faster than a fox because it is running for its life, while the fox is running after a meal.

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