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JamesThursday, December 3, 2020 2:15-4:00pm 


 Rethinking the Origins of the Human Predatory Pattern


Jessica Thompson, Ph.D.

  Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Yale University  
Ph.D. Anthropology, Arizona State University


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Rethinking the Origins of the Human Predatory Pattern

Abstract: The habitual consumption of large animal resources (e.g., similar sized or larger than the consumer) separates human and nonhuman primate behavior. Flaked stone tool use, another important hominin behavior, is often portrayed as being functionally related to this by the necessity of a sharp edge for cutting animal tissue. However, new empirical evidence suggests that both may have occurred earlier than previously known, before the origin of our genus Homo. This demands a critical and theoretical re-evaluation of the significance of an earlier origins of these two behaviors, their proposed interrelationship, and how we should structure future research. Through this exercise, it is apparent that concepts of meat-eating and tool use are too loosely defined: outside-bone nutrients (e.g., meat) and inside-bone nutrients (e.g., marrow and brains) have different macronutrient characteristics (protein vs. fat), mechanical requirements for access (cutting vs. percussion), search, handling and competitive costs, encounter rates, and net returns. Thus, these different resources – together often encompassed under the overly-general term of “meat-eating”, would have demanded distinct technological and behavioral solutions. This suggests that the exploitation of large-animal resources—the “human predatory pattern”—began with an emphasis on percussion based scavenging of inside-bone nutrients, independently from the emergence of flaked stone tool use. It was only at a later threshold that large-animal exploitation with cutting tools became a key hominin adaptation. 


Covid-19 @ The U

There are many changes happening currently and the Department of Anthropology and larger university community are here to help in this challenging time. The department will continue to post updates and resources.



A number of services are available to students at this time. Below are ones we're frequently asked about. For an updated comprehensive list of services that remain open please visit


Emergency Funds Application

Students can apply for emergency grants based upon need and available funding. If you are facing financial difficulties during this time, please submit an application.

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The FeedU pantry in the Union building is closed. For information on requesting food for a curbside pick up, visit the Union’s Covid-19 page at

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Campus Recreation Services

The Eccles Student Life Center is closed until further notice, but staff still are streaming classes in yoga, cardio boxing and Pilates, among others. Check the schedule to sign up.


Student Wellness Center

While STD testing and pleasure packs are on hold, the Student Wellness Center still is providing many virtual services, including victim-survivor advocacy and Zoom office hours with health educators beginning April 8, from 2 to 4 p.m.

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Anthropology Advising

Questions about anthropology? Ready to declare as an anthropology major? Book an advising appointment with Anthropology Advisor Dr. Shawn Carlyle


At this time, undergraduate Advisors in CSBS are continuing to be available to you through phone and video appointments.  Please visit this link to schedule an appointment or email advisors with questions.

You can also contact an advisor directly via email – though this may not replace the need for a full appointment. You can find advisor contact information in the same link above.

Additionally, the following advisors will hold “Chat” time for Walk-In Wednesday on March 18th from 1-3pm:

  • Ally Marringa and Stacy Morris for ANTH, ENVST, GEOG/GIS
  • Nic O’Shea from ECON, HSP and POLS
  • Taryn Horner and Maddi Olsen for CRIM, FCHD, PSY and SOC

We are using a “chat” feature on ConnexEd, which you can access here. Sort the CSBS advisors by Major, and that will lead you to appointment scheduling cards for each advisor, and you can now select “Chat with Advisor” and instant message with one of these advisors.

Finally, if you have any questions and do not know who or how to reach out to anyone, then email Bobbi Davis, CSBS Director for Student Services, at or call 801-581-7579.

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Undergraduate Programs

Anthropology Major

Anthropology is the study of human beings; their cultures, biology, behaviors, and their changes through time (evolution). 


Anthropology Minor

Because we study all aspects of humans, anthropology is holistic and inter-disciplinary and anthropologists work hand-in-hand with other sciences such as biology, physiology, sociology and psychology—just to name a few.


Integrative Human Biology Minor (IHB)

Engage in research in human form and function, human evolution and biological variation, human behavior, and the roles humans play in local and global ecosystems. Students will acquire the broad but rigorous background they will need as professionals in the 21st-century health sciences and many other fields that engage directly with aspects of human adaptation and welfare.



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Last Updated: 11/24/20