"It's no secret to any dog-lover or cat-lover that humans have a special connection with animals. But in a new journal article and forthcoming book, paleoanthropologist Pat Shipman of Penn State University argues that this human-animal connection goes well beyond simple affection.
Shipman proposes that the interdependency of ancestral humans with other animal species - 'the animal connection' - played a crucial and beneficial role in human evolution over the last 2.6 million years.
'Establishing an intimate connection to other animals is unique and universal to our species,' said Shipman, a professor of biological anthropology. Her paper describing the new hypothesis for human evolution based on the tendency to nurture members of other species will be published in the August 2010 issue of the journal Current Anthropology."
SPX had the story July 26, 2010.