The Animal Connection and Human Evolution

Bibliographic Collection: 
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Shipman, P.
Year of Publication: 2010
Journal: Current Anthropology
Volume: 51
Start Page: 519
Issue: 4
Pagination: 519-538
Date Published: 08/2010
Publication Language: eng

A suite of unique physical and behavioral characteristics distinguishes Homo sapiens from other mammals. Three diagnostic human behaviors played key roles in human evolution: tool making, symbolic behavior and language, and the domestication of plants and animals. I focus here on a previously unrecognized fourth behavior, which I call the animal connection, that characterized the human lineage over the past 2.6 million years. I propose that the animal connection is the underlying link among the other key human behaviors and that it substantially influenced the evolution of humans.

DOI: 10.1086/653816