The costs of becoming a predator

Pat Shipman, Alan Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


At some as-yet-unknown point during hominid evolution, a dietary shift occurred which involved incorporating a larger proportion of food derived from animal resources. Features of predatory and non-predatory mammalian species are compared in order to identify features or characteristics that would be expected to change as a consequence of this dietary shift. The record of hominid evolution is then reviewed to determine when these expected changes occurred, insofar as they are visible in the fossil record. Characteristics of Homo erectus are most congruent with those predicted for a species that has become significantly more predatory than its antecedents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-392
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Human Evolution
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1989

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Anthropology


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