Hunter-gatherer with a Partner

A solitary hunter-gatherer can gain much by taking on a partner, either a dog or other suitable predator, or another human being. The simpler partnership crosses species lines, so the differing characteristics of the two species, and how they complement each other, account for much of the utility of such an arrangement.

A dog and his human

Forming a partnership with a dog, cheetah, or some other animal willing to cooperate with humans in hunting could be a very beneficial arrangement for both organisms. Some of the benefits, such as the enjoyment of the antics of a puppy, are difficult or impossible to quantify. However, the success of the hunter can be reckoned in terms of the amount of food and other valuable substances that could be cached year after year. There are motivations for working on resources obtained from the world that can still be seen in operation today.

The immediate benefits to members of this partnership are the varous satisfactions of immediate needs: food, water, protection from the elements, etc. These resources may be expended as soon as they are obtained. For the dog it is almost always this way. Except for the occasional item of prey that is buried on one day to be eaten the next, or the bone that may survive for a while longer, everything that the dog catches is eaten or fed to pups almost immediately. A human hunter could operate this way in a territory that was rich with edible resources year round. But humans have long practiced saving useful things including food. Grain and nuts could be stored without further processing, but meat, fish, fruit, berries, etc. will spoil if they are not dried and stored in a location that will keep them dry. Humans also will collect things for their beauty. When trade develops, precious or semi-precious stones may be traded for food. A fine agate stone will not decay, but it may be stolen.

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