“Do humans only do what they are good at?”: Distinguishing between daily behaviors and evolved functional adaptations in fossil hominins

In the introductory chapter of this edited volume, I argue that paleoanthropological research on hominin behavioral evolution tends to overlook the conceptual distinction between a species’ basic anatomical capacity to carry out a certain physical task (e.g., the ability to climb), its evolved biomechanical efficiency in performing that activity (e.g., arboreal climbing efficiency), and each individual’s habitual physical activities (e.g., frequency and intensity of climbing throughout life).