Document Detail

Endurance running and its relevance to scavenging by early hominins.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23461334     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
It has been argued that endurance running ability may have been important in hominin evolution, giving hominins an enhanced ability to scavenge by allowing them to reach carcasses before other terrestrial vertebrate scavengers. This would have allowed them to exploit the carcass before eventually surrendering it on the arrival of potentially dangerous large terrestrial scavengers. Here, we use a simple spatial model to evaluate the ability of competitors to hominin scavengers to find carcasses. We argue that both hominin and nonhominin terrestrial scavengers would often first have been alerted to available carcasses by overflying aerial scavengers. Our model estimates that nonhominin scavengers will generally be able to reach the carcass within 30 min of detecting a plume of vultures above a nearby carcass. We argue that endurance running over periods greater than 30 min would not have provided a selective advantage to early hominins through increased scavenging opportunities. However, shorter distance running may have been selected, particularly if hominins could defend or usurp carcasses from other mammalian scavengers.
Graeme D Ruxton; David M Wilkinson
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2012-10-25
Journal Detail:
Title:  Evolution; international journal of organic evolution     Volume:  67     ISSN:  1558-5646     ISO Abbreviation:  Evolution     Publication Date:  2013 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-03-06     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0373224     Medline TA:  Evolution     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  861-7     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
© 2012 The Author(s). Evolution© 2012 The Society for the Study of Evolution.
School of Biology, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9TH, United Kingdom Natural Science and Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University, Byrom Street, Liverpool, L3 3AF, United Kingdom E-mail:
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