I had no idea what was happening here, but it happened. Jaffna, 2010.
In our pre-history, there’s this idea that humans were great hunters. And we are, now. In his article ‘Why nearly every sport except long-distance running is fundamentally absurd‘ David Stipp makes the case that we evolved to outrun prey and tire them out, not to rapidly hunt them down. Many animals can sprint and kill better than we can. Very few can run longer and more patiently than us, however.
The reasons Spitt outlines is that our legs and butts are just built for it, but also that we’re far better at cooling ourselves than, say, dogs, or by extension wolves. Dogs have to cool themselves by panting so they can’t spring for that long without slowing to both pant and breathe. Cats big and small also can’t run long distances at speed. The only thing that really competes is horses.
So what was the benefit of this? Well, rather than being the sexy and decisive predator that chases down and kills animals in battle, we were probably the kind that just followed them around and kept them from drinking or eating until they tired out and tired. Then we killed the weakened animal and scavenged the flesh before the hyenas came.
It’s not the most noble seeming past, but it is an interesting adaptation, and one that seems logical based on our bodies. Overtime our brains got bigger and we thought of new and compelling ways to kill things, but it seems that chasing animals until they got tired was a probable start.