But new Evidence from ancient butchery site in Tanzania shows early man used complex hunting techniques to ambush and kill antelopes, gazelles, wildebeest and other large animals at least two million years ago.
The discovery - by anthropologist Professor Henry Bunn of Wisconsin University - pushes back the definitive date for the beginning of systematic human hunting by hundreds of thousands of years.
Previously many scientists assumed the meat they butchered and ate had been gathered from animals that had died from natural causes or had been left behind by lions, leopards and other carnivores.
Once our species got a taste for meat, it was provided with a dense, protein-rich source of energy.
We no longer needed to invest internal resources on huge digestive tracts that were previously required to process vegetation and fruit, which are more difficult to digest.
This new, energy-rich resource was then diverted inside our bodies and used to fuel our growing brains.
Over the next
two million years our crania grew, producing species of humans with
increasingly large brains.