The hunting hypothesis holds human evolution was influenced and driven by hunting. The act of hunting, according to the hypothesis, distinguished the evolution of mankind into what we are today. Namely, the manner in which we walk upright on two ‘hind’ legs and stone tool implementation beginning about 2.5 million years ago are what separated man from beast in the initial stages.
Moreover, about 1.5 million years ago, man started implementing fire as a source of heat and then fire. All these factors ushered in the ability to reason and, subsequently, social interaction as the basis for the emergence of language and culture. With this, the hunting hypothesis simultaneously de-emphasized the theory man lead a primarily omnivore means of existence.
This theory also explains male coalitions. Unlike primate male-male coalitions, which are temporary opportunistic, man developed consistent and coordinated cooperation for fruitful hunting. Subsequently, an individual male’s fitness is valued to this stage in our evolution by both males and females.
Also lending perspective to the hunting hypothesis is the show-off hypothesis. This is the concept that more successful men have better mate options. In theory, women benefit from aligning with more successful males is sexual access, increased fertility and favorable treatment his children would receive from society. This societal acceptance and inclusion increases likelihood of living in large groups and the subsequent protection from predators.
These theories are evident in modern day society. Hunters tend to be gregarious, as hunting in groups is safer and typically much more successful. Hunting in groups is only reasonable and speaks to hunting being a very cognitive activity. Hunting men are very strategic in their pursuit, strategy that exercises our most primal instincts.