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Large mammals shaped the evolution of humans: here’s why it happened in Africa

By Norman Owen-Smith, Emeritus Research Professor of African Ecology, University of the Witwatersrand
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That humans originated in Africa is widely accepted. But it’s not generally recognised how unique features of Africa’s ecology were responsible for the crucial evolutionary transitions from forest-inhabiting fruit-eater to savanna-dwelling hunter. These were founded on earth movements and aided physically by Africa’s seasonal aridity, bedrock-derived soils and absence of barriers to movements between north and south.

These features promoted extensive savanna grasslands marked by erratic rainfall,…The Conversation

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