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Persistence Hunting

The author of the article “New Perspectives on the Evolution of Bipedalism,” Allison S. Brookes makes a compelling argument that the reason humans evolved to walk on two legs was the need to be able to outlast the animals that they were hunting. Early Hominines did not have adequate ways of killing large game up close, they did not have bows and arrows, and much less guns to hunt with. The author argues that because of this, they had to evolve to be able to run long distances to instead kill the animal they were hunting through its dehydration and overheating. By the term “persistence hunting” the Brookes means that hominines were able to run for long periods of time because of the shape of the feet, long legs, muscle organization, ability to sweat and cool off more efficiently. While the animals that were being hunted could overheat while running and die. She further argues that because they were able to run on just their legs, they would have been able to carry a water source with them during the hunt, while the animal that was being chased; running on four legs would not be able to rehydrate (21). Persistence hunting starts with a group of people tracking a pack of animals, they then single out what would be the weakest and focus their attention on that animal. They track the animal for hours until it is tired enough for one hunter to give chase. The “runner” of the group then splits from the rest and chases the animal. Because the human body can sweat and regulate heat, while the animals cannot, the animal will need to find shade or water to cool itself off. The animal does not get the opportunity to cool off because it is being chased by the hunter and therefore eventually collapses. In order to be able to walk or run on two feet many evolutionary changes had to occur, early humans had to develop arches in their feet, curved spines, specialized hips, and specialized knees. The muscle structure of the early human body also had to...
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