Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Thermoregulation and endurance running in extinct hominins: Wheeler's models revisited

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Author(s)

Graeme D. Ruxton, David M. Wilkinson

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Thermoregulation is often cited as a potentially important influence on the evolution of hominins, thanks to a highly influential series of papers in the Journal of Human Evolution in the 1980s and 1990s by Peter Wheeler. These papers developed quantitative modeling of heat balance between different potential hominins and their environment. Here, we return to these models, update them in line with new developments and measurements in animal thermal biology, and modify them to represent a running hominin rather than the stationary form considered previously. In particular, we use our modified Wheeler model to investigate thermoregulatory aspects of the evolution of endurance running ability. Our model suggests that for endurance running to be possible, a hominin would need locomotive efficiency, sweating rates, and areas of hairless skin similar to modern humans. We argue that these restrictions suggest that endurance running may have been possible (from a thermoregulatory viewpoint) for Homo erectus, but is unlikely for any earlier hominins. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-175
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Human Evolution
Volume61
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Secondary dispersal mechanisms of winged seeds: a review

    der Weduwen, D. & Ruxton, G. D., 19 Jun 2019, In : Biological Reviews. 94, 5, p. 1830-1838 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  2. Deconstructing collective building in social insects: implications for ecological adaptation and evolution

    Invernizzi, E. & Ruxton, G. D., 8 Aug 2019, In : Insectes Sociaux. First Online, 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  3. The Hermans–Rasson test as a powerful alternative to the Rayleigh test for circular statistics in biology

    Landler, L., Ruxton, G. D. & Malkemper, E. P., 7 Aug 2019, In : BMC Ecology. 19, 8 p., 30.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. A theory for investment across defences triggered at different stages of a predator-prey encounter

    Wang, L., Ruxton, G. D., Cornell, S. J., Speed, M. P. & Broom, M., 21 Jul 2019, In : Journal of Theoretical Biology. 473, p. 9-19 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Circular statistics meets practical limitations: a simulation-based Rao’s spacing test for non-continuous data

    Landler, L., Ruxton, G. D. & Malkemper, E. P., 10 May 2019, In : Movement Ecology. 7, 5 p., 15.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Selection to outsmart the germs: the evolution of disease recognition and social cognition

    Kessler, S. E., Bonnell, T. R., Byrne, R. W. & Chapman, C. A., Jul 2017, In : Journal of Human Evolution. 108, p. 92-109 18 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Climatic variability, plasticity, and dispersal: a case study from Lake Tana, Ethiopia

    Grove, M., Lamb, H., Roberts, H., Davies, S., Marshall, M., Bates, C. R. & Huws, D., Oct 2015, In : Journal of Human Evolution. 87, p. 32-47 16 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. How old are chimpanzee communities? Time to the most recent common ancestor of the Y-chromosome in highly patrilocal societies

    Langergraber, K., Rowney, C., Schubert, G., Crockford, C., Hobaiter, C., Wittig, R., Wrangham, R. W., Zuberbuhler, K. & Vigilant, L., Apr 2014, In : Journal of Human Evolution. 69, p. 1-7

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Population trajectories for accidental versus planned colonisation of islands

    Ruxton, G. D. & Wilkinson, D. M., Sep 2012, In : Journal of Human Evolution. 63, 3, p. 507-511 5 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 42951957