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why hunters gather: optimal foraging and the Aché of eastern Paraguay



The determinants of food choices made by hunter-gatherers have long been a topic of speculation and controversy. In this paper, we analyze the foraging behavior of the Aché of eastern Paraguay and conclude that it is consistent with predictions derived from optimal foraging models. We infer that these very general models will continue to prove useful in explaining variation in hunter-gatherer subsistence patterns throughout time and space. [Aché, hunter-gatherers, optimal foraging theory, South America, tropical forest]

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