Endurance Hunting aa a Driver for Sexual Dimorphism and Role Differentiation
By Richard Katz
Early humans were endurance hunters. They were successful in long distance pursuit of prey. This behavioral strategy is believed to be at least 2MM years old, predating h. sapiens, and persists in Kalahari bushmen and the Tarahumara, amongst others. However, long distance running reduces body fat to <10%, which in females is inadequate for fertility. Thus endurance hunting may have been an early driver of role differentiation (male hunters vs. female gatherers) with female gathering allowing a maintained >20% body fat composition, and maintained fertility.
Insofar as any female runners would be at a fertility disadvantage it is possible that gatherer females, with dimorphically distinct evolutionary modern body habitus would have been regarded positively in comparison.
Published: 20 Feb, 2015