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Man the Hunted: Primates, Predators, and…

Man the Hunted: Primates, Predators, and Human Evolution, Expanded Edition

by Donna Hart

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The authors state the hunting theory arose in the 1970s and with it the erroneous belief man the hunter feels driven to hunt large game because it is in his nature. This idea is so much bunk because for millions of years, early hominids were defenceless, tasty morsels eaten by the early ancestors of the great cats, wolves, hyenas, crocodiles, birds of prey, and snakes. In order to prove their theory, the authors have relied on the fossil records and the present day predation of and by great apes. Both the fossil record and ethology conclude hominids and the great apes are primarily foragers of fruit, leaves, nuts, tubers, roots, and vegetative matter. Hominids were opportunistic hunters of insects, eggs, small animals, and lizards but didn’t have either the weapons to hunt large animals, the dentition to eat the meat, nor did they possess fire to predigest the meat. Should you decide to read this book, read it in tandem with “The Big Cats and their fossil relatives” by Allan Turner and illustrated by Mauricio Anton to see representations of the big cats that were preying on hominids. ( )
  ShelleyAlberta | Sep 20, 2017 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0813344034, Paperback)

Man the Hunted argues that primates, including the earliest members of the human family, have evolved as the prey of any number of predators, including wild cats and dogs, hyenas, snakes, crocodiles, and even birds. The authors’ studies of predators on monkeys and apes are supplemented here with the observations of naturalists in the field and revealing interpretations of the fossil record. Eyewitness accounts of the “man the hunted” drama being played out even now give vivid evidence of its prehistoric significance.

This provocative view of human evolution suggests that countless adaptations that have allowed our species to survive—from larger brains to speech—stem from a considerably more vulnerable position on the food chain than we might like to imagine. The myth of early humans as fearless hunters dominating the earth obscures our origins as just one of many species that had to be cautious, depend on other group members, communicate danger, and come to terms with being merely one cog in the complex cycle of life.

The expanded edition includes a new chapter that describes the ever-increasing evidence of predation on humans and other primates and claims that the earliest humans were neither hunters nor even the accomplished scavengers that many authorities have claimed.


Foreword by Ian Tattersall

1. Just Another Item on the Menu
2. Debunking “Man the Hunter”
3. Who’s Eating Whom?
4. Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!
5. Coursing Hyenas and Hungry Dogs
6. Missionary Position
7. Terror from the Sky
8. We Weren’t Just Waiting Around to be Eaten!
9. Gentle Savage or Bloodthirsty Brute?
10. Man the Hunted
11. The Final Word

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:41 -0400)

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