Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Throw

The origins of human throwing have been unlocked !
  • Neil Roach, from George Washington University, US, who led the study, said that changes in the anatomy of hominins (early humans) that occurred two millions years ago, enabled energy storage in the shoulder that allowed fast throwing, and therefore hunting, to occur.

    "Success at hunting allowed our ancestors to become part-time carnivores, eating more calorie-rich meat and fat and dramatically improving the quality of their diet.

    "This dietary change led to seismic shifts in our ancestors' biology, allowing them to grow larger bodies, larger brains, and to have more children, and it also did interesting things to our social structure.

    "We start to see the origins of divisions of labour around that time, where some would be hunting, others would be gathering new foods.

    "It probably also allowed us to move to new environments, such as areas that did not have vegetation to support us before we had the ability to hunt," Dr Roach told BBC News.
I find it interesting that both this article and at least one of the evolutionary arguments for running in 'Born To Run' both argue from quite different perspectives that major changes occured to human physiology in pursuit of meat.  And yet both seem to downplay the role of meet to an extent ('part-time carnivores'). 

I don't doubt our omnivory but if we have several distinct threads of evidence placing meat-eating and the pursuit of meat at the root of our evolution, I'm guessing the resulting specialisation meant we were good at it.  The 'fruits' of foraging would appear to be secondary and supplementary to our primary dietary constituent..

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