The hunting period (10th-ll.25th grade)1 may be said to have begun with the employment of special weapons and devices in hunting and fishing such as are employed by extant pre-cibiculturists. Until these had been devised none of the larger animals and only small quantities of fish could be secured as food. While, therefore, the diet of the homo-simians was always becoming more and more animalized as their evolution advanced, it was not until he had become an adept in the arts of the chase that the evolving being (whom we may now suppose to have attained the dignity of manhood - the invention of hunting and fishing appliances and the contriving of trapping surely constituting a title to this distinction) became perhaps even more carnivorous than vegetarian. What makes this probable is the fact that the diet of the extant pre-cibiculturists consists on an average of equal parts of animal and vegetable food. (We exclude from consideration the Esquimaux who live under exceptional climatic conditions.) Now all these people are skilled in cookery, and are able by its means greatly to increase their supply of vegetable food; from which we may conclude that without the aid it affords they would of necessity be more carnivorous than vegetarian, and we may fairly assume that such was the case with man in the period immediately preceding the advent of cookery. It must not, however, be forgotten that the introduction of cookery led our progenitors, as we have just seen, to abandon many of the coarser and less palatable varieties of vegetable food, and that the pre-cookery semi-human was thus presumably more capable of subsisting on raw uncultivated vegetable food than is any pre-cibicultural man extant, and this capacity may have been handed down unimpaired as late as the early hunting period.
1 Though the writer dates the commencement of the hunting period from about the 10th stage of man's evolution, he has no doubt that man had attained to considerable skill as a hunter long before this. He probably began to fashion hunting and other implements quite early in the homo-simian period.
Another effect of the enhanced skill in hunting was that it enabled man to spread into regions which without it would not have provided him with sufficient food : we may, in fact, date his dispersal far and wide over the earth from the beginning of this period, though it is quite possible that no very general migration took place until he had learnt to prepare his vegetable food artificially and so had greatly increased its supply. There can be little doubt that the ability of man to spread over the earth was a question of food supply rather than of climate.
During the whole of these pre-cookery periods the evolving man had, like all other vegetable-feeding mammals, to subject his vegetable food to thorough mastication. All raw vegetable foods, except the luscious fruits, of which the nutrient constituents consist mainly of soluble salts and saccharides,1 require prolonged mastication in order that the non-digestible cellulose chambers in which their starch, protein, and fat are contained may be broken up. Even herbivorous animals, which are provided with special means of digesting cellulose, need to masticate their food laboriously if it is to yield its full complement of nutriment. This is testified by the phenomenon of cud-chewing and by a variety of other facts, such as the frequency with which grains of corn pass intact through the alimentary tract in the case of old horses with worn-down teeth, or of younger horses given to bolting their food.
1 The term "saccharide" is used as synonymous with "carbo-hydrate".
It is therefore evident that throughout these periods the masticatory apparatus of our progenitors must have been put to constant and arduous use, with the result that all the starch ingested was thoroughly masticated. Now inasmuch as the intake of starch in those far-off times, before man had learnt to cook or to improve his vegetable food by cultivation, was limited, it is obvious that most of it was digested into dextrine and maltose within the mouth, and that comparatively little passed into the stomach in the crude state. It will thus be seen that until the invention of cookery the stomach of the evolving man had but little acquaintance with undigested starch, saccharide material entering it for the most part in the soluble form, either as grape sugar, fruit sugar, cane sugar, or, finally, as the products of salivary digestion, i.e. dextrines and maltose.