New evidence shows early humans became long-distance runners to hunt – EVOL

Scientists say they have uncovered more evidence that hunting may have helped humans become long-distance runners millions of years ago.

New research shows the endurance pursuit of prey, chasing an animal at length on foot, was not as rare in hunter-gatherer societies as previously thought.

Anthropologists said they found written accounts of pursuits, some from the early 1500s, that suggest slow-paced, long-distance running was seen as an efficient way to capture food animals such as wildebeest, deer, antelope and bison.

The team said its findings, published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, challenge the view that lengthy pursuits of prey would have been physically costly because of the toll they take on the human body.

Eugene Morin, a professor in the department of anthropology at Trent University in Canada, said this belief stems from a “cultural bias” amongst Westerners who tend to see running “as arduous, costly, and challenging”.

He told the PA news agency: “Westerners, being more sedentary, are generally not as fit as the Natives (indigenous people who descended from the earliest inhabitants of a country), and for this reason, probably consider endurance running as more challenging than people who run frequently.”

The findings also suggest snowy or harsh winter conditions would not put



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