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Title: Discovering the opposite shore: how did hominins cross sea straits
Authors: Hölzchen, Ericson
Hertler, Christine
Mateos Cachorro, Ana
Rodríguez, Jesús
Berndt, Jan Ole
Timm, Ingo J.
Keywords: Hominins;Swimming;Sea water;Dehydration (medicine);Hypothermia;Agent-based modeling;Shores;Population density
Issue Date: Jun-2021
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Citation: PLoS ONE, 2021, 16 (6): e0252885
Abstract: Understanding hominin expansions requires the comprehension of movement processes at different scales. In many models of hominin expansion these processes are viewed as being determined by large-scale effects, such as changes in climate and vegetation spanning continents and thousands or even millions of years. However, these large-scale patterns of expansions also need to be considered as possibly resulting from the accumulation of small-scale decisions of individual hominins. Moving on a continental scale may for instance involve crossing a water barrier. We present a generalized agent-based model for simulating the crossing of a water barrier where the agents represent the hominin individuals. The model can be configured to represent a variety of movement modes across water. Here, we compare four different behavioral scenarios in conjunction with a set of water barrier configurations, in which agents move in water by either paddling, drifting, swimming or rafting. We introduce the crossing-success-rate (CSR) to quantify the performance in water crossing. Our study suggests that more focus should be directed towards the exploration of behavioral models for hominins, as directionality may be a more powerful factor for crossing a barrier than environmental opportunities alone. A prerequisite for this is to perceive the opposite shore. Furthermore, to provide a comprehensive understanding of hominin expansions, the CSR allows for the integration of results obtained from small-scale simulations into large-scale models for hominin expansion.
ISSN: 1932-6203
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0252885
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Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Paleobiología

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