The Deadliest Man Eaters In Mankind’s Evolutionary History

Painting of Smilodon populator from the American Museum of Natural History by Charles Knight (1903) (Public Domain)

The Deadliest Man Eaters In Mankind’s Evolutionary History

Humans are the most successful predator on the planet and stand sentinel at the spearhead of the planetary food chain, but this was not an achievement that came easy. Mankind’s ancestors had to fight and overcome some of the fiercest creatures imaginable to take the crown as the apex predator, but who exactly were these predators that have trimmed human population sizes since the dawn of time?

Smilodon is one of the most famous prehistoric mammals and the best-known saber-toothed cat, more commonly known as the saber-toothed tiger, that lived in the Americas during the Pleistocene epoch (2.5 mya – 10,000 years ago).(CC BY-SA 2.0)

Smilodon is one of the most famous prehistoric mammals and the best-known saber-toothed cat, more commonly known as the saber-toothed tiger, that lived in the Americas during the Pleistocene epoch (2.5 mya – 10,000 years ago).(CC BY-SA 2.0)

Throughout mankind’s evolutionary path arguably the most common cause of death, was being eaten alive, beginning with the first primates who evolved about 65 million years ago when man’s ancestors were about the size of a monkey. Larger primates, gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans and bonobos, representing modern man’s ancestors, evolved about 13 million years ago and about seven million years ago, hominids, including man’s direct ancestors, split from chimps and bonobos, so Homo sapiens, are about 200,000 years old.

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