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Jacqui Murray – Natural Selection


Jacqui Murray  has done it again. She has provided us with more wonderful entertainment with the release of Natural Selection, book three of her Dawn of Humanity trilogy. I’m so pleased to host her on my blog today. For a review of this latest page-turner, please also visit my other blog, https://annelisplace.wordpress.com/2022/11/06/natural-selection-my-review/

 Natural Selection




In this conclusion to Lucy’s journey, she and her tribe leave their good home to rescue former tribe members captured by the enemy. Lucy’s tribe includes a mix of species–a Canis, a Homotherium, and different iterations of early man. In this book, more join and some die, but that is the nature of prehistoric life, where survival depends on a combination of our developing intellect and our inexhaustible will to live. Each species brings unique skills to this task. Based on true events.


Set 1.8 million years ago in Africa, Lucy and her tribe struggle against the harsh reality of a world ruled by nature, where predators stalk them and a violent new species of man threatens to destroy their world. Only by changing can they prevail. If you ever wondered how earliest man survived but you couldn’t get through the academic discussions, this book is for you. Prepare to see this violent and beautiful world in a way you never imagined.


A perfect book for fans of Jean Auel and the Gears!Book information:


Title and author: Natural Selection by Jacqui Murray

Series: Book 3 in the Dawn of Humanity series

Genre: Prehistoric fiction

Editor: Anneli Purchase

Available print or digital) at: http://a-fwd.com/asin=B0B9KPM5BW


How did early man run down prey?

Early Man Hunted by Running Down Prey

In my latest trilogy, Dawn of Humanity, I present the almost unbelievable idea that early man–in this case, not Lucy’s kind but the next version of man, Homo erectus–hunted by chasing herds until the animals were too tired to continue. Readers who have never heard about what is called the “Endurance Running Hypothesis” or “persistence hunting” reject that idea, but many scientists don’t (to be fair, some do). Here’s why.

African land animals run fast, some at speeds of 45-60 mph. Most of us assume our ancestors hunted by surprising animals as they grazed, killing only the old or injured while the rest fled. That is true, but they also chased the herd and were likely to catch them.

How was that possible? Read on.

Because earliest man had few offensive traits like fangs or claws, evolution selected those who could run fast enough to escape predators and run down prey for food. That included physical characteristics like long legs, a prominent butt (for balance), loose hips, shock-absorbing joints, a stable head, shorter toes, a springy foot formation, considerably less body hair, skin loaded with cooling sweat glands, and a larger lung size. By the time Homo erectus arrived in man’s lineage (Xha and Wild in the story, Natural Selection), man could run all day while animals had to stop periodically to rest. Animal bodies were powerful, but covered in fur and their only way to cool off was to stop and pant. Herd animals would think they had escaped, because they could no longer see the tall skinny creatures who carried a tree limb wherever they went, but they hadn’t. Man ran slower, but because of his adaptive qualities, he ran endlessly. He caught up with the animals when they stopped to catch their breath. The animals would again take off, but each time they sprinted from their human predators, they had to stop sooner until they couldn’t run anymore and were speared by the chasers who never seemed to require rest.

This continues today as the preferred hunting technique of African wild dogs, domestic hounds, and the human hunter-gatherers still living in the central Kalahari Desert.

Want more? Check out this three-minute video on Endurance Running:



Author bio:

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also author of the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman , the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction writing includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, and reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice. She is a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics.

Social Media contacts:


Amazon Author Page:        https://www.amazon.com/Jacqui-Murray/e/B002E78CQQ/

Blog:                                       https://worddreams.wordpress.com

Instagram:                             https://www.instagram.com/jacquimurraywriter/

Pinterest:                                http://pinterest.com/askatechteacher

Twitter:                                   http://twitter.com/worddreams

Website:                                 https://jacquimurray.net


My review of Natural Selection can be found at https://annelisplace.wordpress.com/2022/11/06/natural-selection-my-review/

Author: wordsfromanneli

Writing, travel, photography, nature, more writing....

76 thoughts on “Jacqui Murray – Natural Selection

  1. Hi Jacqui and Anneli – how fascinating … I hadn’t come across this hypothesis … but I am just about to write about today’s endurance running ‘for pleasure’ in Chihuahua province in Mexico, coming about because of an exhibition at the British Museum – so this was a very interesting read. Thank you … Jacqui – you’ve really researched so much to bring your story to life. Cheers to you both – Hilary

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Jacqui and Anneli, I’ve read about First Nations who chased animals off cliffs or into other natural hazards, but I didn’t know about the out-running. As you mention, this isn’t something that would occur to most of us as an explanation.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. So happy to see that you’ve picked such an excellent writer, teacher, blogger, mother and friend as Jacqui to promote.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I read Jacqui’s discussion and watched the video with a great deal of interest. I had no idea. Fascinating!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I have heard of endurance running hunting. I believe it. I mean, we still have people who can run ultra-Marathons.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. So fascinating, Anneli, and thanks for hosting Jacqui. Best wishes to her on Natural Selection. The story sounds intriguing, but it also sounds like Book #1 & 2 should be read first.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I had never heard of this theory. Quite incredible. Jacqui’s book sounds like a terrific read.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Thank you so much for hosting me, Anneli. This will be a fun day!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great blog tour you are having, Jacqui! This entire series is a fascinating look at early man and your research adds truth to the fictional characters. I don’t doubt that early humans had that kind of endurance. We still do, but our sedentary lifestyles squash that option pretty quickly. And where would we run to, McDonald’s, LOL? Thanks for hosting Anneli!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I am so fascinated by the idea of endurance running, as it sounds like such a beautiful experience and an amazing historic trait. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  11. This makes me think of a Native American method hunting where they would chase the buffalo off a cliff and then hurry down to collect the spoils from the wounded or dead. Most interesting. Thank you for sharing, Anneli.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I love these bits of anthropological history, Jacqui. My brother has a friend who just ran 4 back to back marathons (100 miles) and she’s in her fifties. Endurance running is definitely doable today with training, but back in Lucy’s time, every day was filled with “training.” Another great post. Thanks for hosting, Anneli!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Jacqui’s blog tours are always so educational and unique. This is fascinating! Thanks for hosting today, Anneli. Wishing Jacqui all the best!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. You are having a great book tour Jacqui and its amazing how early man hunted and the explanation makes total sense…since 2010 either Kenya or Ethiopia have won the London Marathon and they are endurance runners at home they run and run and run…so the London Marathon is a doddle for them…because they are runners and hunters…

    Liked by 2 people

  15. This makes me think of how cheetahs and lions run down prey, switching off until the animals are winded. Maybe that’s how Homo Erectus came up with the idea?

    Liked by 2 people

  16. What a fascinating topic, Jacqui.
    Thanks for hosting, Anneli.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. It’s great seeing Jacqui’s book here! I wish her much success!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Wow. This is fascinating. I’m a little late to read about it due to issues I’m having uploading my own novel.

    Jacqui, your knowledge of such long ago history is incredible. Your trilogy sounds awesome. We have it so easy in modern times, and despite the societal events we’re living through, I’m grateful I didn’t have to struggle in Lucy’s time.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Wonderful info about Jacqui and her new book! Congratulations!

    Liked by 2 people

  20. I’ve heard of this, and I believe it’s true. We have a natural ability for endurance above most animals.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Fantastic summary. And thanks for introducing me to this theory. Is this why some of the best long-distance runners even today are from Kenya and Ethiopia?

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Fascinating journey! Through natural selection, prehistoric man was blessed with physical endurance as well as an unfathomable determination to survive in a hostile wilderness.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Great detail about early humans and endurance. I’ve learnt a deal about prehistoric beings from reading your books, Jacqui.

    Liked by 1 person

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