Primates, Predators, and Human Evolution

expanded edition Donna Hart and Robert W. Sussman

Foreword by Ian Tattersall

Praise for the First Edition

"Hart and Sussman have written a highly readable book, with jazzy subtitles such as 'Will the First Hominid Please Stand Up?,' 'Before the Age of Ulcers,' and 'My, What Big Teeth You Have!' Their argument that human beings and their predecessors, during almost the entire period of their evolution, have been preyed on rather than predators is entirely persuasive." —American Anthropologist

"Donna Hart and Robert Sussman's observations of how living primates cope with constant threats bring to life their interpretation of our extinct human relatives and ancestors, along with the role that predation has played on our social and cognitive evolution. Surprise, surprise, it has always paid to have friends and allies." —New Scientist

"Hart and Sussman's book presents a good synthesis of pertinent etho-logical observations and a summary of theoretical framing, along with a healthy dose of anecdote." —Evolutionary Anthropology

"Man the Hunted . . . is accessible and interesting. . . . The authors describe and debate the common view of Man as the evolving hunter and present their own view of Man's evolution as an adapting prey by integrating fossil records and behavioral data from living predator-prey interactions involving human and nonhuman primates."

—American Journal of Human Biology

"Contrary to the familiar image of the aggressive, spear-wielding 'caveman,' our hominid ancestors were more hunted than hunters, more preyed upon than slayers of large predators, contend wildlife conservationist Hart and anthropologist Sussman. . . . [T]he authors' novel proposals merit serious consideration." —Publishers Weekly

"In an agile, knowledgeable presentation, the authors contest a popular conception about human evolution: that ancestral hominids were hunters. ... To make their case, which eminent paleoanthropologist Ian Tattersall extols in a preface as 'the first comprehensive synthesis of the information available about predation on humans,' Hart and Sussman marshal both fossils and behavioral studies of living primates. The authors' prose is wryly irreverent, as if intended to keep a lecture class awake and interested." —Booklist

"Their thesis is far more complex than merely changing one letter to transform man the hunter into man the hunted. Hunt and Sussman are looking at the whole of human history in a light that's quite different from what most of us have been taught, and . . . their overall effort is thought-provoking and pretty persuasive." —St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"[R]eaders will eagerly proceed through chapters about the interaction of primates with felines and canines, reptiles and raptors, even sharks. Those are far from dry scientific presentations. The writing is rich with well-crafted stories drawn from the fossil record and from modern observations of predation on our fellow primates—and humans."

—The Dallas Morning News

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