You wouldn’t know it by current world events, but humans actually evolved to be peaceful, cooperative and social animals. In a new book, an anthropologist at Washington University in St. Louis goes against the prevailing view and argues that primates, including early humans, evolved not as hunters but as prey of many predators, including wild dogs and cats, hyenas, eagles and crocodiles. Despite popular theories posed in research papers and popular literature, early man was not an aggressive killer, argues Robert W. Sussman, Ph.D., professor of anthropology in Arts & Sciences.
Some species still prey on humans to this day.Early man was more wary than war-like, more intelligent, agile, and cooperative than aggressive, predator or killer, and he co-evolved as the prey of many species. Moreover, in the old days, woman wore the pants in the family and men were basically expendable, not the brightest bulbs on the tree when it came to tools, and functioning best as sentinels wary of predators in edge environments between the forest and savannah. Those are the primary themes of a new book, “Man the Hunted: Primates, Predators and Human Evolution”, co-authored by Robert W. Sussman, Ph.D., professor of anthropology in Arts & Sciences.