Endurance Running Hypothesis

born to run

The endurance running hypothesis is the theory that the evolution of certain human characteristics can be explained as adaptations to long-distance running. The theory states that prior to the invention of the spear, the first projectile weapon, 200,000 years ago, ancient humans would use persistence hunting as their method of hunting animals, whereby, rather than outpacing animals, they would chase the animals over long distances until the animals would overheat.

Thus, adaptations favoring long-distance running ability would have been favored in humans. After projectile weapons were developed – in evolutionarily recent times – the importance of long-distance running became lessened but the traits remained.

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