The HABRI Foundation is calling for research proposals to investigate the health outcomes of pet ownership and/or animal-assisted activity or therapy, both for the people and the animals involved. To learn more, visit https://habri.org/grants/funding-opportunities/ close

 
You are here: Home / Journal Articles / Converging on ancient bones: a review of the evidence for the close relatedness of humans ( Homo sapiens) and spotted hyenas ( Crocuta crocuta) / About

Converging on ancient bones: a review of the evidence for the close relatedness of humans ( Homo sapiens) and spotted hyenas ( Crocuta crocuta)

By M. Baynes-Rock

View Resource (HTM)

Licensed under

Category Journal Articles
Abstract

The majority of spotted hyena studies are conducted in places such as national parks and reserves where there are few humans present other than the researchers. I argue that this reflects a perception that "real" hyenas are those largely unaffected by contact with humans. This is at odds with fossil evidence which demonstrates a long, shared history of human/hyena co-evolution since our ancestors first came together on the African continent more than six million years ago. From that time human ancestors adopted lifeways that brought them into direct competition with hyena ancestors over carcass-based resources. These relations of competition and coexistence persisted through dispersals across Eurasia and into the late Pleistocene. So too in Africa, our respective ancestors competed over prey for millions of years. There hyena/human competition over livestock animals is a vestige of ancient enmity that marks both species as enemies. In light of this evidence I present a reconfiguration of what it is to be hyena or human. Using a theoretical framework developed by Jacob von Uexkull I argue that hyenas are to a great degree human-like and vice versa. This conclusion in turn undermines human exceptionalism by undermining the "non-animalness" which is normally held to separate humans from other species.

Publication Title Humanimalia: A Journal of Human/Animal Interface Studies
Volume 7
Issue 1
Pages 1-22
ISBN/ISSN 2151-8645
Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Tags
  1. Africa
  2. Animal ecology
  3. Animals
  4. Bones
  5. Carnivores
  6. Competition
  7. Domestic animals
  8. Evolution
  9. History
  10. Humans
  11. Hyenas
  12. Livestock
  13. Mammals
  14. Men
  15. natural enemies
  16. peer-reviewed
  17. predation
  18. predators
  19. prey
  20. Primates
  21. Relationships
  22. Reviews
  23. vertebrates
  24. Wild animals
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed