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A consideration of some aspect of the behaviour and ecology of the early hominids

Lattin, P. R. (1969) A consideration of some aspect of the behaviour and ecology of the early hominids. Masters thesis, Durham University.



In this paper, I have considered certain aspects of the ecology and behaviour of the early hominids in the light of the available literature on this subject. The first section discusses the place, nature and significance of the early hominids in the overall history, of the hominid line, as well as discussing the possibility that it was a change in the habits of the ancestral hominids, brought about by altered environmental circumstances that encouraged the selection of modifications for more efficient bipedalism. The second section reviews the arguments that have been put forward by Reynolds in support of his contention that human society arose from an ape-like system of open groups. Although agreeing with much that he has written on this topic, I have questioned the validity of some of his views on the openness of pongid and early hominid society. The third section discusses the cultural capacities of the various early hominid forms with reference to the palaeontological evidence and the known tool-using abilities of other, especially sub-human primate, species. Moreover, it draws attention to the behavioural preadaptedness of these creatures for developing tool-using habits, as well as reviewing the arguments that have been expressed on whether tool-using arose from agonistic displays or food getting habits. The fourth section deals with the feeding habits of the early hominids, and argues that vegetable foods were the staple diet of the early hominids, as they are of tropical hunter gatherers, with only relatively small, though significant, additions of other items. The final section constitutes a general appreciation of the behaviour and ecology of the early hominids, with special reference to the arguments expressed elsewhere in this work.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1969
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:39

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