Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Interactions between humans and scavengers have been decisive in human evolution

Date:
April 29, 2014
Source:
Asociación RUVID
Summary:
Scientists have concluded that the interactions that human have kept for millennia with scavengers like vultures, hyenas and lions, have been crucial in the evolution and welfare of humankind. The results of the study note that the extinction of large carnivorous mammals threatens to wipe out the many services that they provide us.

Vulture. Scientists have concluded that the interactions that human have kept for millennia with scavengers like vultures, hyenas and lions, have been crucial in the evolution and welfare of humankind.
Credit: © massimhokuto / Fotolia

An international team of researchers led by scientists at the University Miguel Hernández in Elche (Spain) has concluded that the interactions that human have kept for millennia with scavengers like vultures, hyenas and lions, have been crucial in the evolution and welfare of humankind. Furthermore, the results of the study note that the extinction of large carnivorous mammals threatens to wipe out the many services that they provide us. This finding has been published in the journal BioScience and has numerous implications in the cognitive, ecological and cultural identity of modern man.

Related Articles


The study led by researchers Marcos Moleón and José Antonio Sánchez Zapata from the Area of Ecology -- Department of Applied Biology at the University Miguel Hernández is based on a review of recent arguments that have been published in scientific journals and offers a unique perspective of human evolution, from the origin of the first hominid about two million years ago, to the emergence and development of modern man.

"The way that humans have acquired meat since it became a fundamental component of our diet has changed from the consumption of dead animals to hunting live ones, the domestication of wild animals and finally intensive exploitation," the researchers explain. "In each of these periods, humans have been closely related to other scavengers. At first, the interaction was primarily competitive, but when humans went from eating carrion to generating it, scavengers highly benefited from the relationship. Today humans benefit the most from the multiple services provided by scavengers."

However, the study concludes that "the current process of extinction and depletion of vultures and large carnivorous mammals in large regions of the planet seriously threaten these services. Therefore, the continuity of these scavengers among us is not only important for maintaining the planet's biodiversity but also for our own wellbeing and our ecological and evolutionary identity."

The human implications of the ancestral and changing relationship between humans and scavengers are manifold. According to the researchers, the study shows that "the benefits to humans range from the provision of food, as carrion was more easily found if other scavengers were feeding from it, to the control of infectious diseases (due to the elimination of animal remains in the vicinity of human settlements); also through the catalysis of cultural diversity for example as we had to improve the early stone tools to be competitively successful."

Furthermore, this work indicates that "the two most distinctive human attributes, language development and cooperative partnership, were probably the result of selective pressures associated with consumption of carrion."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Asociación RUVID. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M. Moleon, J. A. Sanchez-Zapata, A. Margalida, M. Carrete, N. Owen-Smith, J. A. Donazar. Humans and Scavengers: The Evolution of Interactions and Ecosystem Services. BioScience, 2014; 64 (5): 394 DOI: 10.1093/biosci/biu034

Cite This Page:

Asociación RUVID. "Interactions between humans and scavengers have been decisive in human evolution." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140429085231.htm>.
Asociación RUVID. (2014, April 29). Interactions between humans and scavengers have been decisive in human evolution. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140429085231.htm
Asociación RUVID. "Interactions between humans and scavengers have been decisive in human evolution." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140429085231.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Fossils & Ruins News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Oldest Bone Ever Sequenced Shows Human/Neanderthal Mating

Oldest Bone Ever Sequenced Shows Human/Neanderthal Mating

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) — A 45,000-year-old thighbone is showing when humans and neanderthals may have first interbred and revealing details about our origins. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weird-Looking Dinosaur Solves 50-Year-Old Mystery

Weird-Looking Dinosaur Solves 50-Year-Old Mystery

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) — You've probably seen some weird-looking dinosaurs, but have you ever seen one this weird? It's worth a look. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goofy Dinosaur Blends Barney and Jar Jar Binks

Goofy Dinosaur Blends Barney and Jar Jar Binks

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — A collection of dinosaur bones reveal a creature that is far more weird and goofy-looking than scientists originally thought when they found just the arm bones nearly 50 years ago, according to a new report in the journal Nature. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sunken WWII U-Boat That Fired On U.S. Convoy Found

Sunken WWII U-Boat That Fired On U.S. Convoy Found

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) — U-576, a long-lost German U-boat the U.S. sank in 1942, has been found just 30 miles off North Carolina's coast and near the wreckage of another ship. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins