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Originally posted by seagull
reply to post by Hanslune
Was doing a little reading after I posted that, and did indeed discover that chimps actually do eat quite a lot of non plant items. Such as ants, and other assorted creepy crawlies...along with scavenged meat from leopard/big cat kills.
Did early hominids hunt and eat meat in a pattern similar to one described above for wild chimpanzees ? It is quite probable that they did. Recent discoveries in Ethiopia by Tim White, Gen Suwa and Berhane Asfaw of the fossil remains of very early autralopithecines (Australopithecus ramidus) show that 4.4 million years ago primitive hominids lived in a forest environment that they shared with colobus monkeys and small antelope. A. ramidus was different from chimpanzees in two prominent anatomical features: they had much smaller canine teeth, and a lower body adapted for walking on the ground rather than swinging though trees. They almost certainly continued to use trees, however, for nighttime shelter and for daytime fruit gathering, as do modern ground-living primates such as baboons. In spite of lacking the large canine teeth and tree-climbing adaptations that chimpanzees possess, early hominids probably ate a large number of small and medium sized animals, including monkeys. Large canine teeth are not necessarily important for carnivory; chimpanzees do not use their canine teeth to capture adult colobus; rather, they grab the prey and flail it to death on the ground or against a tree limb. The chimpanzees' superb climbing ability is not essential for hunting monkeys either; once the prey is cornered in an isolated tree crown, group cooperation at driving the monkeys from one hunter to another would have been a quite efficient killing technique.