Huh! I just learned that we hoomans are one of the few if not the only animals who can run for 40KM straight!

Ofc many other animals outrun us in a spring but long distance we rule!

“Because we cool by sweating rather than panting, we can stay cool at speeds and distances that would overheat other animals.” NYTimes

@czhang03 no, it's because our preferred hunting technique was to wear our faster and stronger prey out, and kill it when it was completely exhausted, unable to defend itself. @stux

@stux We are the opposite of dwarves in that way, because as Gimli taught us, dwarves are natural sprinters!😋​

@stux *Some* humans 😉

I had to run 1 km when I was at school, and it just about killed me 😰

@stux that's like our ecological niche, we ran down prey to exhaustion

@stux yeah, except when heat + humidity levels are so high (heat bubbles/domes), that the body is not able to sweat anymore, and death takes a few hours...

@stux And because we have such big butts! Thats what made us such great hunters and able to even out run gazelles!

@stux I've been watching ridiculous amounts of nature documentaries with my kids, and it always strikes me as odd that they never feature all the cool things about humans. The big brain isn't the only thing we're good at, and in fact the big brain couldn't happen without our other abilities.
Sweating is an outstanding ability humans have, along with the distance running it enables. Also our vision is pretty great. Finally there's digestion, we're amazingly omnivorous.

@stux wrapping all that up, the endurance let us travel long distances and find food, good vision allows identifying food sources, omnivority let us consume more foods, all of which means our baseline calorie intake was very high, which means we could afford to carry around a big expensive brain, which is super useful for things like remembering where food and water is seasonally and in adverse conditions (e.g. droughts).

@stux We are not the only animals. That's a urban myth. There are plenty of animals that can cross long distances quickly. Persistence hunters are not the most common hunters, but they exist. And quite a few canines fall into this category.

As far as long distance endurance goes, humans are being beaten by all migratory animals.

Also rebel unit nitpick: it's km not KM. SI prefixes have a fixed upper/lower case and all SI units that are not derived from names are lower case.

@stux BTW: that humans were endurance hunters is actually contested. There are neither conclusive proof for or against it.

BTW2: If you think humans are the only animals that can do 40km straight, try racing a horse.

@attilakinali @stux Horses, camels, and wolves/dogs all have better endurance than humans. Horses sweat too. Don't know about camels.

@stux Its always best to take these kinds of evolutionary categoricals with a grain of salt. Humans are also "Pack Hunters" and "Ambush Predators". We also carry our kills a loooong distance sometimes - much longer than other predators who will eat their fill and leave.

Given all this, the estimates of successful hunting trips are like 2% and animal hides and bones are valuable tools. Likely hunting was less about food and more about acquiring status and pelts.


BiBo: 🤨​

1. Ostrich. The world's biggest bird is also the best marathon runner on the planet. While the official world record marathon time for a human is just below 2 hours, 3 minutes, an ostrich could run a marathon in an estimated 45 minutes, according to Popular Mechanics.

birdpower ✌️​ meep meep 😎​

@stux It's my understanding this is what made us great hunters in the African plains. We didn't have to be faster than our prey. We just chased it until it was too exhausted to go on.

Of course, our manual dexterity & ability to make tools & weapons helped as well.

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