INTER-SECTION Volume III - Page 9

| Fenno F.J.M. Noij | THESE BONES WERE MADE FOR JOGGING AN ANALYSIS OF THE LOWER LIMB SKELETAL EVIDENCE FOR THE ENDURANCE RUNNING HYPOTHESIS Kim P. Deckers Leiden University Abstract The endurance running hypothesis proposes that the anatomical features observed in the genus Homo evolved to increase long distance running capabilities. Proponents of this theory argue that the need for nutrient-dense high quality food packages to sustain a larger brain and body size would require Homo to a suite of anatomical features that would allow running over sustained periods of time. This paper inves- tigates the skeletal indicators associated with endurance running within the fossil hominin archaeological record. Data on the character of these skeletal indicators in Plio-Pleistocene hominins was analysed from the literature. A complete suite of anatomical features related to endurance running is not seen until Homo ergaster at 1.8 million years ago. However, a mosaic of these features is present in earlier Australopiths. This, combined with the lac k of evidence for long range projectile weapons in the Pleistocene, indicates notion that anatomical changes observed in early Homo evolved to increase running capabilities. Keywords Hominin Fossil Record, Evolutionary Morphology, Plio-Pleistocene, Locomotion, Hunting Strategies Email: kdeckers161990@gmail.com Academia: https://leidenuni.academia.edu/KimDeckers I ntroduction The endurance running hypothesis poses that early members of the genus Homo developed the ability to run over long distances and periods of time. Although poor sprinters compared to other mammalian species (Cavanagh and Kram 1989, 469), humans are more adept at long distance or endurance running. This type of running can only be sustained at speeds ranging from 2.5 – 6 m/s -1 (Cavanagh and Kram 1989, 469), but can Sprinting animals lack the ability to sustain their speed over longer periods of time, making it necessary for them to stop intermittently to cool down before the next sprint (Bramble and Carrier 1983, 253; Garland 1983, 166). The endurance running hypothesis proposes that early hominins developed the ability for long distance running to take advantage of this fact, which would have made it possible to hunt wild game into overheating (Bramble and Lieberman 2004, 351; Carrier 1984, 486; Lieberman et al. 2006, 77). This in turn would allow hominins to acquire the prime portions of meat before other animals would encroach to scavenge the remaining meat (Lieberman et al. 2006, 78). During the early Pleistocene several hominin species inhabited the African landscape. During this time 2017 | INTER-SECTION | VOL III | p.7