Bears, Pigs, and Plio-Pleistocene Hominids: A case for the exploitation of below ground food resources

Bibliographic Collection: 
MOCA Reference, APE
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Tom Hatley; John Kappelman
Year of Publication: 1980
Journal: Human Ecology
Volume: 8
Pagination: 371-387
Publication Language: eng
ISSN: 03007839, 15729915

Belowground plant parts were important potential food resources in the habitats associated with Pliocene and early Pleistocene hominids. The food gathering and dental adaptations of three groups of modern mammals – bears, pigs, and humans – testify to the earlier convergence of these animals on this resource. Since belowground food reserves are relatively unaffected by the factors controlling aboveground food supply (fire, drought, and grazing stress), exploitation of this stable nutritional bank had distinct energetic and behavioral advantages for hominids.