When Humans Were Prey

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Not too long ago, our early human ancestors were under constant threat of attack from predators. And it turns out that this difficult chapter in our history may be responsible for the adaptations that allowed us to become so successful. Thanks to Julio Lacerda and Studio 252mya for the illustrations of the Taung Child. You can find more of Julio's work here: https://252mya.com/gallery/julio-lacerda Produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios: http://youtube.com/pbsdigitalstudios Super special thanks to the following Patreon patrons for helping make Eons possible: Katie Fichtner, Anthony Callaghan, Renzo Caimi Ordenes, John Vanek, Neil H. Gray, Marilyn Wolmart, Esmeralda Rupp-Spangle, Gregory Donovan, Ehit Dinesh Agarwal, الخليفي سلطان , Gabriel Cortez, Marcus Lejon, Robert Arévalo, Robert Hill, Kelby Reid, Todd Dittman, Betsy Radley, PS, Colin Sylvester, Philip Slingerland, Jose Garcia, Eric Vonk, Tony Wamsley, Henrik Peteri, Jonathan Wright, Jon Monteiro, James Bording, Brad Nicholls, Miles Chaston, Michael McClellan, Jeff Graham, Maria Humphrey, Nathan Paskett, Connor Jensen, Daisuke Goto, Hubert Rady, Yuntao Zhou, Gregory Kintz, Tyson Cleary, Chandler Bass, Maly Lor, Joao Ascensao, Tsee Lee, Sarah Fritts, Ruben Winter, Ron Harvey Jr, Jacob Gerke, Alex Yan If you'd like to support the channel, head over to http://patreon.com/eons and pledge for some cool rewards! Want to follow Eons elsewhere on the internet? Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/eonsshow Twitter - https://twitter.com/eonsshow Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/eonsshow/ References: http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-fossils/fossils/taung-child http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-fossils/species/paranthropus-robustus http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-fossils/fossils/oh-8 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4729050.stm http://time.com/5424347/remains-neanderthal-giant-bird-poland/ http://scienceinpoland.pap.pl/en/news/news%2C31287%2Cscientists-discover-oldest-human-remains-poland-they-are-over-100000-years-old.html Berger, L. R. (2006). Brief communication: Predatory bird damage to the Taung type-skull of Australopithecus africanus Dart 1925. American Journal of Physical Anthropology: The Official Publication of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, 131(2), 166-168. Berger, L. R., & Clarke, R. J. (1995). Eagle involvement in accumulation of the Taung child fauna. Journal of Human Evolution, 29(3), 275-299. Berger, L. R., & McGraw, W. S. (2007). Further evidence for eagle predation of, and feeding damage on, the Taung child. South African Journal of Science, 103(11-12), 496-498. Blumenschine, R. J., Stanistreet, I. G., Njau, J. K., Bamford, M. K., Masao, F. T., Albert, R. M., ... & Fernández-Jalvo, Y. (2012). Environments and hominin activities across the FLK Peninsula during Zinjanthropus times (1.84 Ma), Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. Journal of Human Evolution, 63(2), 364-383. Brain, C. K. (1970). New finds at the Swartkrans australopithecine site. Nature, 225(5238), 1112. Brain, C. K. (1983). The hunters or the hunted?: an introduction to African cave taphonomy. University of Chicago Press. Bunn, H. T. (1991). A taphonomic perspective on the archaeology of human origins. Annual Review of Anthropology, 20(1), 433-467. Dart, R. A. (1949). The predatory implemental technique of Australopithecus. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 7(1), 1-38. Dart, R. A. (1953). The predatory transition from ape to man. Brill. Dart, R. A. (1958). The Minimal Bone-Breccia Content of Makapansgat and the Australopithecine Predatory Habit. American Anthropologist, 60(5), 923-931. Hart, D. (2018). Man the hunted: Primates, predators, and human evolution. Routledge. Hart, D., & Sussman, R. W. (2011). The influence of predation on primate and early human evolution: impetus for cooperation. In Origins of Altruism and Cooperation (pp. 19-40). Springer, New York, NY. Njau, J. K., & Blumenschine, R. J. (2006). A diagnosis of crocodile feeding traces on larger mammal bone, with fossil examples from the Plio-Pleistocene Olduvai Basin, Tanzania. Journal of Human Evolution, 50(2), 142-162. Njau, J. K., & Blumenschine, R. J. (2012). Crocodylian and mammalian carnivore feeding traces on hominid fossils from FLK 22 and FLK NN 3, Plio-Pleistocene, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. Journal of human evolution, 63(2), 408-417. Pickering, T. R., Schick, K. D., & Toth, N. P. (Eds.). (2007). Breathing life into fossils: taphonomic studies in honor of CK (Bob) Brain. Gosport, IN: Stone Age Institute Press. Tobias, P. V. (1990). When and by whom was the Taung skull discovered. Para conocer al hombre: homenaje a Santiago Genovése. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autonoma da Mexico, 207-213. Washburn, S. L. (1957). Australopithecines: the hunters or the hunted?. American Anthropologist, 59(4), 612-614. Zuberbühler, K., & Jenny, D. (2002). Leopard predation and primate evolution. Journal of Human Evolution, 43(6), 873-886.

Comments from Youtube

Dimka Lie : Our ancestors were basically walking hot-dogs back then !

WireMosasaur : Apologies to my extremely late ancestors who were eaten by birds, but there's something delightful about there being a grain of truth to the "cavemen running away from a hungry dinosaur" cartoon trope

Christian Fischer : If there isn't a band called Killer Ape Theory there should be.

Jay Schipp : [slowly moves to parakeet cage and double checks the lock]

Persphonefallen : *Looks at my pet chickens with worry*

Yanuchi Uchiha: Anime, Games and Ramdomness : *Looks slowly at the sparrow standing on the tree next to my window*

Alex G : Eats chicken nuggets... How the tables of turned...😝

Guinness : Honestly, PBS should get way more money to make more content.

Todd Manow : Chimps, and their lack of cooperative action, were mentioned, but nothing of the highly social and helpful bonobos?

Ben Llama : Imagine getting picked off by a bird

Ralph Gonzalez : Yo, who else grew up with PBS as a kid?

ShxdyNeo : How bold of you to assume a flying being could top me in the food chain

The Bug Lord : They're not birds! They're dragons!

Taxi : Imagine walking to work and suddenly you're getting picked up by a huge Eagle

L R5 : humans still are prey. its rare, but things still eat humans.

Mr bean full episodes HD : Me: ohh a humming bird hey cutie Humming bird: only if you knew....

SmokeSpark Dragonfly : "Humans were once prey" (Cat jumps out of nowhere and starts to shred my pants up) Okay then

CleanserOfNoobs : *Looks at pet parakeet with fear* Uh, h-hey there, birb. Nice nice birb.

Jaco Binoy : The reason why we put chickens in such horrid conditions is for revenge. TAKE THAT VEGANS!

evilnekowantznobs : WHOS LAUGHING NOW BIG BIRD!?

notablegoat : God, imagine sprinting for the treeline, a giant, winged shadow blocking the Sun...

khertzgeneration ॅ : Thanks, Africa and early ancient proto Africans, for stacking evolution points for the entire humanity.

SuicideBunny6 : Paleontologist C.K. Brain probably worked together with his assistant Mr. Pinky

SBBwasaight Vuong : Fun fact: Dr. Leakey who discovered the Habilis fossil was also the professor who urged Jane Goodall, Birute Galdikas, and Dian Fossey to study primates in the wild. They were jokingly called Leakey's Angels.

Valini S : So birds ate us in the beginning?🤔 now we eat birds ... hmmm time to enjoy that bucket of wings

smol u2ber : These goddamn birbs man..

Rebecca Conn : I live in the western mountains. I do NOT wander the woods at dawn or dusk. Only city people would make up some nonsense about hominids being big arse predators pre-guns.

Francois Fouche : I live a few kilometers away from Taung🤷‍♂️ pretty cool

Wicked Wildlife : Video idea 💡 Can you do a video about the megafauna of Australia? I take native animals into schools and kindergartens and it’s amazing to me that the average Australian doesn’t know much about our own natural history We had all sorts of cool animals like giant kangaroos and 7 meter long goannas that no one seems to know about

RobinFlysHigh : The use of the word "pledge" when it comes to joining the patreon..... Gives old school PBS vibes. (Or rather, TV PBS vibes) xP

Hexxagone : Please do an episode on the Platypus and why its so weird

Phantasy Star Ifrian : And that is why nowadays we fry chicken. Makes sense.

Austin C. : The First 48,000 years Fossil Forensic Files Keep 'em coming

AardvarkLord : All this makes me wonder what currently held beliefs we have about ancient humans right now will be considered silly a hundred years from now.

Derpy PotatoFox : "Humans were once hunted" Some people: gasp! Me: why am i not surprised.

TTYL NRN : I believe this video. Why? Because of crazy chickens from my childhood. We had chickens taller then 2feet. Most neighborhood dogs were scared of them chickens.

Laura Marschmallow : Let's hear it for evryone's favourite hominin: Steve!

Shadow Strum : Humans still are pray, we just have walls and guns now

Oson Houston : Giant Eagle: "Omae wa mou shindeiru" Tong Child: "Nani?!?!" That's right I'm digging this fossil of a meme.

Simply me Marie : Fascinating. Thank you 😊

Sammie : Well, I figured out where dragons come from...

DokktorDeth : When humans 'were' prey? We still are!

gedLi : Very Informative! This is legit knowledge.

Jessica Renae : Australopithecus has entered the chat Giant Eagle has entered the chat Australopithecus has left the chat

Catxx15 ! : This channel is awesome! You guys rock 👍🏼

Cadet Grey : Yes I do think that our biggest advantage is advanced communication which in time helped us developed a more complex brain allowing large amounts of abstract thinking and planning.

Hi Aezakmi : Where had this great channel been hiding from a knowledge thirsty person like me

Shadow Dancer : When I get a SciShow or a PBS notification for a video they both always get a thumbs up from me. I always know they're going to be great videos.

LordPizzaJunkie : Isn't there a theory that dragons are our ultimate fear? They can fly (getting hunted by birds), they are long and reptilian (venomous snakes hidden by grass), they breathe fire (we conquered fire, but it was/is still a violent and distructive force, to which we have succum many times in history), and lastly they are intelligent, usually wiser then we are.