Speaker series
Evolution and the Social Mind
Speaker Series
The Hunting Apes:
Meat-eating, meat-sharing, and the roots of human social cognition
A Presentation by Craig B. Stanford
Associate Professor of Anthropology
Co-Director, Jane Goodall Research Center
University of Southern California
Friday, April 16, 1999 at 12:30pm - 2:00pm
Anthropology, HSSB 2001A
Meat-eating is widely regarded by human evolutionary scholars as a central behavior in the emergence of humanity. Past paradigms (notably Man the Hunter of the 1960s) have attributed the rise of the human intellect to cognitive attributes needed for cooperative hunting. This model is widely discredited today. In this talk I argue that the evidence from great ape meat-eating behavior, from human forager data, and from the fossil record all point to the paramount importance of meat-eating, but especially meat-sharing , as the fundamental dietary/behavioral shift that placed a premium on social intelligence for the control and manipulative distribution of this key nutritional resource. Those who control key resources control others who need it; I argue that an important element of the evolution of patriarchal human societies has been the role of meat as such a controllable resource.
Craig Stanford is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Southern California and Co-Director of the Jane Goodall Research Institute there. He is a primate behavioral ecologist whose main research interests have been the ecology of primate social systems and the use of primate models in reconstructing early human behavior. From 1990-95 he studied chimpanzee hunting behavior in Gombe National Park, Tanzania, and since 1996 he has directed the Bwindi-Impenetrable Great Ape Project in Uganda. He is the author of 60 scholarly publications, including the books, The Capped Langur in Bangladesh: Behavioral Ecology and Reproductive TacticsChimpanzee and Red Colobus: The Ecology of Predator and Prey (1998, Harvard University Press) and The Hunting Apes (1999, Princeton University Press).

Craig Stanford web page: http://www-rcf.usc.edu/~stanford/bigape.html

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Speaker series
Evolution and the Social Mind
Speaker Series