The pyrophilic primate hypothesis

  title={The pyrophilic primate hypothesis},
  author={Christopher H. Parker and Earl R Keefe and Nicole M. Herzog and James F. O'connell and Kristen Hawkes},
  journal={Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues},
Members of genus Homo are the only animals known to create and control fire. The adaptive significance of this unique behavior is broadly recognized, but the steps by which our ancestors evolved pyrotechnic abilities remain unknown. Many hypotheses attempting to answer this question attribute hominin fire to serendipitous, even accidental, discovery. Using recent paleoenvironmental reconstructions, we present an alternative scenario in which, 2 to 3 million years ago in tropical Africa, human… 

Fire and the Genus Homo

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The use of fire and human distribution

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Early human fire use is of great scientific interest, but little comparative work has been undertaken across the ecological settings in which natural fire occurs or on the taphonomy of fire and

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Control of Fire in the Paleolithic: Evaluating the Cooking Hypothesis

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The isotopic ecology of African mole rats informs hypotheses on the evolution of human diet

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Woody cover and hominin environments in the past 6 million years

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Human adaptation to the control of fire

The role of fire in increasing the net caloric value of cooked foods compared to raw foods, and hence in accounting for the unique pattern of human digestion, is considered.

Diet of Paranthropus boisei in the early Pleistocene of East Africa

Stable isotopes are used to show that Paranthropus boisei had a diet that was dominated by C4 biomass such as grasses or sedges, which may indicate that the remarkable craniodental morphology of this taxon represents an adaptation for processing large quantities of low-quality vegetation rather than hard objects.

Ecosystem variability and early human habitats in eastern Africa

The scale and pace of repeated ecosystem variations at Olduvai Gorge contrast with long-held views of directional or stepwise aridification and grassland expansion in eastern Africa during the early Pleistocene and provide a local perspective on environmental hypotheses of human evolution.

Phylogenetic rate shifts in feeding time during the evolution of Homo

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Grandmothering and the evolution of homo erectus.

An alternative scenario is developed, that climate-driven adjustments in female foraging and food sharing practices, possibly involving tubers, favored significant changes in ancestral life history, morphology, and ecology leading to the appearance, spread and persistence of H. erectus.