Sunday, March 18, 2012

Tracking prey

According to Wikipedia, "Persistence hunting is a hunting technique in which hunters use a combination of running and tracking to pursue prey to the point of exhaustion. While humans can sweat to reduce body heat, their quadrupedal prey would need to slow from a gallop in order to pant....Persistence hunting requires endurance running–running many miles for extended periods of time. Among primates, endurance running is only seen in humans, and persistence hunting is thought to have been one of the earliest forms of human hunting, having evolved 2 million years ago."

In his bestselling book, Born to Run, Christopher McDougall argues that human feet evolved to support this type of endurance running. Forget those fancy over-engineered supportive sneakers: people can run longer and farther and with fewer injuries if they run barefoot. S and I have both bought into this reasoning; we've ditched our Asics and spend most of our travel time in minimalist Merrills and Stems.

I was thinking about this last night, as I listened to Schroeder pant. Perhaps prehistoric Man persistence-hunted Felis silvestris lybica into domestication; or perhaps prehistoric Woman simply tossed a few hand-knit carrot finger puppets into the Savannah, and Felis silvestris catus was born.


Robin in IL said...

Here's a cat link someone gave me that made me laugh:

Liz Paley said...

Smart kitty, and what well-trained humans!