"He was avoiding them at all costs.". There are a number of reasons that living in groups is beneficial for animals that otherwise would be very prone to being preyed upon.". They were basically smallish bipedal primates. Sussman's book, "Man the Hunted: Primates, Predators and Human Evolution," poses a new theory, based on the fossil record and living primate species, that primates have been prey for millions of years, a fact that greatly influenced the evolution of early man. In this way there are more eyes and ears to locate the predators and more individuals to mob them if attacked or to confuse them by scattering. "It didn't have the sharp shearing blades necessary to retain and cut such foods," Sussman says. “Most theories on Man the Hunter fail to incorporate this key fossil evidence,” Sussman says. Australopithecus afarensis didn't have tools, didn't have big teeth and was three feet tall. The idea of "Man the Hunter" is the generally accepted paradigm of human evolution, says Sussman, who recently served as editor of American Anthropologist. As predicted, men scored significantly higher than w … Adults ranged from around 3 to 5 feet and they weighed 60-100 pounds. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050212190551.htm (accessed November 26, 2020). The predation rate on savannah antelope and certain ground-living monkeys today is around 6 percent to 10 percent as well. This model suggests that bipedalism allowed our hands to be freed and lead to the ability of hunting large game with weapons/tools. Sussman and Hart provide evidence that many of our modern human traits, including those of cooperation and socialization, developed as a result of being a prey species and the early human's ability to out-smart the predators. Adults ranged from around 3 to 5 feet and they weighed 60-100 pounds. "Furthermore, Australopithecus afarensis was an edge species," adds Sussman. Robert W. Sussman presented on the theory of Man the Hunted during “The Origin and Nature of Human Sociality” at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 19 as part of the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Annual Meeting Feb. 16-20 in St. Louis, MO. Despite popular theories posed in research papers and popular literature, early man was not an aggressive killer, argues Robert W. Sussman, Ph.D., professor of anthropology in Arts & Sciences. They could live in the trees and on the ground and could take advantage of both. According to such widely read works as Desmond Morris' *The Naked Ape* (1967) and several books by Robert Ardrey (including *The Hunting Hypothesis*, 1976), early apish-looking forms *became* hominids as a result of a hunting way of life. "In fact, all diurnal primates (those active during the day) live in permanent social groups. And examine the evidence they did. "'Man The Hunter' Theory Is Debunked In New Book." Our intelligence, cooperation and many other features we have as modern humans developed from our attempts to out-smart the predator, says Sussman. They were basically smallish bipedal primates. He was using his brain, his agility and his social skills to get away from these predators. Sussman and Hart's research is based on studying the fossil evidence dating back nearly seven million years. It was not possible for early humans to consume a large amount of meat until fire was controlled and cooking was possible. Washington University In St. Louis. This study used some of the data from the BBC Internet study to assess the universality of sex related spatial competencies, as these are described in the terms of Silverman and Eals' (1992) hunter-gatherer theory of human spatial sex differences. Sussman points out that the first tools didn’t appear until two million years ago. Most ecologists agree that predation pressure is one of the major adaptive reasons for this group-living. According to this "man, the hunter" theory, the hunting of large animals by males was the central stimulus of hominid behavioral evolution. They could live in the trees and on the ground and could take advantage of both. “We wanted evidence, not just theory. "One of the main defenses against predators by animals without physical defenses is living in groups," says Sussman. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader: Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks: Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. But what Sussman and Hart discovered is that Australopithecus afarensis was not dentally pre-adapted to eat meat. In a new book, an anthropologist at Washington University in St. Louis goes against the prevailing view and argues that primates, including early humans, evolved not as hunters but as prey of many predators, including wild dogs and cats, hyenas, eagles and crocodiles. “He was avoiding them at all costs.”. Their teeth were relatively small, very much like modern humans, and they were fruit and nut eaters. He co-authored the book with Donna L. Hart, Ph.D., a member of the faculty of Pierre Laclede Honors College and the Department of Anthropology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. The symposium resulted in a book of the same title and attempted to bring together for the first time a comprehensive look at recent ethnographic research on hunter-gatherers. Sussman and Hart’s research is based on studying the fossil evidence dating back nearly seven million years. It’s also a very well-represented species in the fossil record. And there wasn't good evidence of fire until after 800,000 years ago. “Most theories on Man the Hunter fail to incorporate this key fossil evidence,” Sussman says. Man the Hunter was a 1966 symposium organized by Richard Lee and Irven DeVore. “It didn’t have the sharp shearing blades necessary to retain and cut such foods,” Sussman says. Approximately 6 percent to 10 percent of early humans were preyed upon according to evidence that includes teeth marks on bones, talon marks on skulls and holes in a fossil cranium into which sabertooth cat fangs fit, says Sussman. “Furthermore, Australopithecus afarensis was an edge species,” adds Sussman. We thoroughly examined literature available on the skulls, bones, footprints and on environmental evidence, both of our hominid ancestors and the predators that coexisted with them.” Since the process of human evolution is so long and varied, Sussman and Hart decided to focus their research on one specific species, Australopithecus afarensis, which lived between five million and two and a half million years ago and is one of the better known early human species. If they couldn’t eat meat, why would they hunt?”. The book is scheduled to be released in late February. If they couldn't eat meat, why would they hunt?". These traits did not result from trying to hunt for prey or kill our competitors, says Sussman. He was using his brain, his agility and his social skills to get away from these predators. The predators living at the same time as Australopithecus afarensis were huge and there were 10 times as many as today. The published volume appeared in the late 1960s during the second wave of feminism and inspired an immediate backlash against the sexist language and omission of women’s roles in hunting and gathering groups. Since the process of human evolution is so long and varied, Sussman and Hart decided to focus their research on one specific species, Australopithecus afarensis, which lived between five million and two and a half million years ago and is one of the better known early human species. "Most theories on Man the Hunter fail to incorporate this key fossil evidence," Sussman says. There were hyenas as big as bears, as well as saber-toothed cats and many other mega-sized carnivores, reptiles and raptors. In his latest book, an anthropologist at Washington University in St. Louis goes against the prevailing view and argues that primates, including early humans, evolved not as hunters but as prey of many predators, including wild dogs and cats, hyenas, eagles and crocodiles. Washington University In St. Louis. It shares dental, cranial and skeletal traits with both. "'Man The Hunter' Theory Is Debunked In New Book." Despite popular theories posed in research papers and popular literature, early man was not an aggressive killer, argues Robert W. Sussman, Ph.D., professor of anthropology in Arts & Sciences. ScienceDaily. But what Sussman and Hart discovered is that Australopithecus afarensis was not dentally pre-adapted to eat meat. Approximately 6 percent to 10 percent of early humans were preyed upon according to evidence that includes teeth marks on bones, talon marks on skulls and holes in a fossil cranium into which sabertooth cat fangs fit, says Sussman. “These early humans simply couldn’t eat meat. This ability exerted a force over all aspects of human culture and behavior. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.