Man the Hunted argues that primates, including the earliest members of the human family, have evolved as the prey of any number of predators, including wild cats and dogs, hyenas, snakes, crocodiles, and even birds. The authors' studies of predators on monkeys and apes are supplemented here with the observations of naturalists in the field and revealing interpretations of the fossil record. Eyewitness accounts of the 'man the hunted' drama being played out even now give vivid evidence of its prehistoric significance.
This provocative view of human evolution suggests that countless adaptations that have allowed our species to survive (from larger brains to speech), stem from a considerably more vulnerable position on the food chain than we might like to imagine. The myth of early humans as fearless hunters dominating the earth obscures our origins as just one of many species that had to be cautious, depend on other group members, communicate danger, and come to terms with being merely one cog in the complex cycle of life.
Foreword, by Ian Tattersall
1. Just Another Item on the Menu
2. Debunking Man the Hunter
3. Whos Eating Whom?
4. Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!
5. Coursing Hyenas and Hungry Dogs
6. Missionary Position
7. Terror from the Sky
8. We Werent Just Waiting Around to be Eaten!
9. Gentle Savage or Bloodthirsty Brute?
10. Man the Hunted
11. The Final Word
Donna L. Hart is a longtime professional in wildlife conservation and teaches in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Missouri-St Louis. Robert Wald Sussman teaches at Washington University-St Louis and is recent editor of American Anthropologist.