Tag Archives: brian wood

Hadza foragers say hungry Honeyguides lead them to more honey

Hadza hunter-gatherers of northern Tanzania have developed a deep and mutually beneficial relationship with the Greater Honeyguide bird, which, as its name indicates, leads people to sources of wild honey. Yale anthropologist Brian Wood has studied in great detail the intricate, and often surprising, interactions between people and birds in a new study published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior. (more…)

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Walking the Walk: What Sharks, Honeybees and Humans Have in Common

A research team led by UA anthropologist David Raichlen has found that the Hadza tribe’s movements while foraging can be described by a mathematical pattern called a Lévy walk – a pattern that also is found in the movements of many other animals.

A mathematical pattern of movement called a Lévy walk describes the foraging behavior of animals from sharks to honey bees, and now for the first time has been shown to describe human hunter-gatherer movement as well. The study, led by University of Arizona anthropologist David Raichlen, was published on December 23, 2013 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The Lévy walk pattern appears to be ubiquitous in animals, similar to the golden ratio, phi, a mathematical ratio that has been found to describe proportions in plants and animals throughout nature. (more…)

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Hunter-Gatherers Expend Same Calories as Average Americans

Taking in too many calories far outweighs getting too little exercise as a cause of obesity, according to a study of a hunter-gatherer society co- authored by Yale anthropologist Brian Wood and recently published in the July issue of the journal PLoS One.

Using state-of-the-art technology to measure the daily energetic expenditure of the Hazda, a foraging people of Tanzania, Wood and co-authors Herman Pontzer (Hunter College) and David Raichlen (University of Arizona) discovered that even though these last remaining hunter-gatherers in Africa are quite physically active, they expend on average no more calories in a day than the adult population of the industrialized world. Given the total lack of obesity among the Hadza, whose average daily calorie consumption is far lower than that found in the developed world, the researchers concluded that increased caloric intake is the main source of rising obesity in Western populations. (more…)

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