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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Specialized rainforest hunting by Homo sapiens ~45,000 years ago
Author(s): Wedage, Oshan
Amano, Noel
Langley, Michelle
Douka, Katerina
Blinkhorn, James
Crowther, Alison
Deraniyagala, Siran
Kourampas, Nikos
Simpson, Ian
Perera, Nimal
Picin, Andrea
Boivin, Nicole
Petraglia, Michael
Roberts, Patrick
Issue Date: Dec-2019
Citation: Wedage O, Amano N, Langley M, Douka K, Blinkhorn J, Crowther A, Deraniyagala S, Kourampas N, Simpson I, Perera N, Picin A, Boivin N, Petraglia M & Roberts P (2019) Specialized rainforest hunting by Homo sapiens ~45,000 years ago. Nature Communications, 10 (1), p. 739.
Abstract: Defining the distinctive capacities of Homo sapiens relative to other hominins is a major focus for human evolutionary studies. It has been argued that the procurement of small, difficult-to-catch, agile prey is a hallmark of complex behavior unique to our species; however, most research in this regard has been limited to the last 20,000 years in Europe and the Levant. Here, we present detailed faunal assemblage and taphonomic data from Fa-Hien Lena Cave in Sri Lanka that demonstrates specialized, sophisticated hunting of semi-arboreal and arboreal monkey and squirrel populations from ca. 45,000 years ago, in a tropical rainforest environment. Facilitated by complex osseous and microlithic technologies, we argue these data highlight that the early capture of small, elusive mammals was part of the plastic behavior of Homo sapiens that allowed it to rapidly colonize a series of extreme environments that were apparently untouched by its hominin relatives.
DOI Link: 10.1038/s41467-019-08623-1
Rights: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit

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