Lesser Hunters


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A well-meaning, but mistaken, commenter pointed me towards this paper: Hadza Scavenging: Implications for Plio/Pleistocene Hominid Subsistence. Notice it says "Implications for" not "An example of." The Hazda are not living fossils, though many anthropologists think their lifestyle might have some similarities with paleolithic humans.

But the paper is priceless for the actual descriptions of how Hazda people obtained meat. Often it was

1. Some people hear something or see vultures in the distance

2. They investigate

3. Turns out to be some predator consuming meat

4. They scare away the predator and hope something good is left

5. Often all the "premium cuts" are gone, but they crack open the brain and other bones and eat the fat from theses

In this way it challenges two silly assumptions

1. Foragers eat lots of lean meat... sorry! the lions took that before you got there! Looks like only marrow is left. 

2. Male foragers obtain giraffe meat by valiantly hunting it down...sorry! Looks like a group of women and some kids scavenged that meat from a lion kill.

Note that Hazda have some modern technology, so paleolithic foragers would have been even more dependent on scavenging.

Hmm, I think I have some marrow bones in the fridge calling my name....