Running them into the ground

Of course, the problem with being able to run your prey to death  is spotting the particular prey, rather than chasing sixteen of them in endless order b/c you can’t pick one specific animal.

But if you have binocular vision and a heavy stick, and can get close enough to make a throw, then picking out Mister Gimpy as he tries to get away in a savanna or mixed-terrain environment (a “rabbit stick” is an almost perfect tool for “legging” quadrupeds), makes an awful lot of sense.

Combine that with our ability to hyper-communicate using nothing but our eyes (the “whites” of our eyes are an incredible commo advantage), and we turn out to be niche, but potentially very, very effective predators.

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11 Comments

  1. Alex

     /  December 9, 2008

    Assuming Mr. Gimpy is safe enough to eat to begin with, and he’s not slow because he’s sick and disease ridden. This is where experience and/or animal scent capabilities come into play, and probably why we learned to hunt with animals along with honing our own abilities.

    Reply
  2. It’s great that bipedal travel is more efficient than quadrupedal.

    Reply
  3. Mike

     /  December 9, 2008

    Let’s here it for Thumbs! IS there anything they can’t do?

    Reply
  4. Mike

     /  December 9, 2008

    Hear, I mean.

    Reply
  5. Sick and disease-ridden can be cooked.
    Plenty of sick doesn’t compare to picking up calories. But I mean using a big-old heavy stick in order to make him INTO Mister Gimpy…

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  6. Alex

     /  December 9, 2008

    Oh, well tools are another matter. It is what makes us THE top of the food pyramid and the top predator in the world.
    I was thinking more ancient times when cooking the food wasn’t always an option, or the other diseases which can’t easily be cooked out (CJD, other prions, etc.). But yes, enough temp and carbon crust and you can BBQ yourself to health! I think all the nasty polyaromatic hydrocarbons people complain about are really only bad if they’re inhaled. I think they’re fine if eaten – heck we use charcoal to absorb toxins via ingestion, so it’s okay on food as well. Which makes me wander back to tools – fire certainly gave us an edge in early hunting.

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  7. Possibly, but don’t forget, Alex, that the appendix used to be functional, and let us eat rottenish meat. We were clearly able to handle food that today we wouldn’t want to touch without fire.

    Reply
  8. Alex

     /  December 10, 2008

    A good point about the appendix, I had forgotten about that.
    I do know that the modern human gut can be trained to handle other things if you’re exposed to the right diet and bacteria early on. Many spices and herbs have anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties allowing some foods a bit past their prime to be eaten safely, but, you still have to be used to it.
    Regardless, its amazing how we’ve progressed as a species and what we really are in comparison to the rest of the animal kingdom.

    Reply
  9. nickpierce

     /  December 10, 2008

    interesting posts.
    Yo,Alex- e.boli gets my vote for that title.(top predator)
    not tryin’ to start trouble,here.
    ( i do that other places )
    just tryin’ to see the picture as big as i can.
    germs have feelings ,too, you know.
    don’t they?
    do they?
    i dunno.
    interesting posts.

    Reply
  10. Mike

     /  December 10, 2008

    The sick and desease thing is a good point. But our ability to work as an effective team that could communicate and change plan in mid hunt if needed made it so we didn’t have to have Mr. Gimpy. Look at the Mammoth pits we used, not to many other animals can coordinate that kind of effort to take down something like a mammoth in prime condition. Or the cave bear hunts.

    Reply
  11. Hi Nick. No worries, bacteria have feelings, that’s why I hurt them. Except all the ones that help me and are welcome guests. 🙂

    Yep, Mike, when you start adding things together, an individual human isn’t all that impressive — neither’s an individual army ant. A pack of us, on the other hand, turns out to be a reasonably deadly predator.

    Reply

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