Run for Your Food

An article in the current issue of the New Scientist suggests that humans may have evolved the body shape we did to become good runners. And why would we need to be good runners? So we could eat. Our ancestors could get to animal carcasses first to scavenge and later, when they became hunters, they could chase after prey for long distances, literally wearing the animal out.

An anthropologist who studies modern African hunters says the practice of chasing down prey is dying out. It’s a bit too labor intensive.

I’m not sure the practice is dying out. I know plenty of people who scarf down a bag of chips then run an extra mile on the treadmill. Ah, but wait—we’ve got it backwards. What you do is put the package of cupcakes or bag of Doritos a mile away. Then run for it. Better yet, race your teenage son to see who gets there first.

By the way, anthropologists say large buttocks contribute to our ability to run well on two legs. The next time you try on a pair of jeans and blanch when you look in the mirror, blame evolution, not that extra slice of fudge marble cheesecake.

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