CarolCooks2 – Natural Selection, Book 3 in the Dawn of Humanity series by Jacqui Murray book blog tour

Today I am absolutely delighted to welcome Jacqui Murray to join me on CarolCooks2 as you all know I am inquisitive and love discovering food and who eats or has eaten what…looking at the list of foods below I can recognise many foods that we still eat or forage for now the main difference is that the food in these early days was eaten raw… fire and it uses had just been discovered and cooking on fire was in its early days and not widespread…

Natural Selection, Dawn of Humanity Book 3 is the latest book and I am looking forward to discovering what Lucy, Natural Selection’s main character and her tribe eat and forage for…

In this conclusion to Lucy’s journey, she and her tribe leave their good home to rescue
former-tribe members captured by the enemy. Lucy’s tribe includes a mix of species–a
Canis, a Homotherium, and different iterations of early man. In this book, more join and
some die, but that is the nature of prehistoric life, where survival depends on a
combination of our developing intellect and our inexhaustible will to live. Each species
brings unique skills to this task. Based on true events.
Set 1.8 million years ago in Africa, Lucy and her tribe struggle against the harsh reality of
a world ruled by nature, where predators stalk them and a violent new species of man
threatens to destroy their world. Only by changing can they prevail. If you ever wondered
how earliest man survived but couldn’t get through the academic discussions, this book
is for you. Prepare to see this violent and beautiful world in a way you never imagined.

A perfect book for fans of Jean Auel and the Gears!

Let’s now have a look at what kinds of foods early man foraged and hunted for on their travels…

What Did Early Man Eat?

Most scientists credit man’s survival over 2 million tumultuous years to our big brains, that we’re smarter than other animals around us, but another trait may be more responsible. Throughout our tumultuous existence, daunting challenges, deadly predators, and changing climate has forced–encouraged?–man to migrate from our original African savannas to blistering deserts, steamy equatorial jungles, Arctic ice flows, temperate–and intemperate–mountains, and frozen tundra. No other animal does this. Most remain where they started and when that habitat changes, become extinct. Gorillas are being pushed into smaller and smaller corners of Africa as their jungle habitat melts away. The great herds of Africa occupy ever-shrinking grasslands as desert and civilization encroach on their grazing. The Panda Bear who eats only bamboo faces dramatically shrinking numbers as the bamboo jungles of predominantly China die out.

If none of these species can adapt to change, how did we?

The reasons are complicated, but today, we’ll talk about one arguably as important as our big
brains: We eat anything. We’re happy to devour plants, meat, insects, nuts, fruit, roots and
everything in between. This empowers us to migrate wherever we choose, assured of finding
food. Before we became farmers, we were hunter-gatherers. We hunted meat and gathered
plant foods (including nuts and berries), and ate it raw because 2 million years ago, we knew nothing about cooking with fire (or doing anything with fire other than avoid it). Even back then, though, it is believed our ancestors understood conservation. They took some of the plants, fruit, roots, and other available food, but not all, knowing what remained would repopulate the area for their next visit.

Here are some of the foods your ancestors considered staples:

  • Ants
  • Berries
  • Birds
  • Bulbs
  • Caterpillars
  • Cattail
  • Corms
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Fruit
  • Grass
  • Ground Birds
  • Honey
  • Insects
  • Larvae
  • Lizards
  • Marrow from Bones
  • Meat
  • Nuts
  • Rhizomes
  • Rose Hips
  • Scorpions
  • Seeds
  • slugs
  • Snails
  • Snakes
  • Shoots and Sprouts
  • Termites
  • Tubers
  • Turtles
  • Wild Turnips
  • Worms

Most of those foods are familiar to me and in cultures around the world are still eaten maybe cooked instead of being eaten raw or mixed with aromatics that were not available back then but nevertheless are still eaten…but I still like to read that they were mindful not to just strip a source of food but leave some so it could still grow and be available for another day…

A second factor that my character Lucy and her tribe hadn’t yet experienced was fire (this will be prominent in the next trilogy, Savage Land). Once man conquered fire–scientists disagree when but maybe a million years ago—it was used to soften food, make it easier to chew and digest. It also killed germs that could kill us and preserved food longer than it would last in a natural state.

This last, Lucy experienced but didn’t understand.
If you’re curious about how first humans found and prepared food, I go into a lot of detail in my
trilogies, Dawn of Humanity and Crossroads.

This video is great as it gives us an insight into the life of early man and how hard it was back then…

Book information:

Title and author: Natural Selection by Jacqui Murray
Series: Book 3 in the Dawn of Humanity series
Genre: Prehistoric fiction
Editor: Anneli Purchase
Available print or digital) at:

Author bio:

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature which
explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also the author of
the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s
journey from high school to the United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction includes over
a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice,
a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics.

Social Media contacts:

Amazon Author Page:

Thank you for joining me today I do hope you check out Jacqui’s’s new release…I have already read and loved “The Crossroads” trilogy and cannot wait to start the Dawn of Humanity series. Wishing you good luck with your blog tour Jacqui x

53 thoughts on “CarolCooks2 – Natural Selection, Book 3 in the Dawn of Humanity series by Jacqui Murray book blog tour

  1. hilarymb

    Hi Carol and Jacqui – what an interesting list of ‘foods’ that we probably ate millennia ago … and how many of them we’re looking at to expand our western palates today, as food becomes somewhat insecure. Thanks for this – an interesting read – cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Hi Hilary yes its very interesting plus reading Jacqui’s books its apparent that most food is just tucked into.. out of neccessity.. We have acquired that squeamishness about just munching on that live termite… We live to eat now not eat to live… Thank you for popping by and leaving a valued comment 😊


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    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Me too, Robbie but back then anything moreorless was seen as food in order to survive even cannibalism and rotten food although eating what we class as rotten food is still eaten in some cultures today… I don’t think the term edible but not palatable featured as highly then as it does now… Survival was the overiding aim.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jacquie Biggar

    Since early men could eat virtually anything, does that mean their stomachs were different in how they processed food then?
    Interesting post. I’ve started Dawn of Humanity and am enjoying reconnecting with the characters.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      I don’t know the scientific answer to that but I know when I was back in the UK in June and July.. My insides as my diet was very different from here reacted big time and the same on my return here… which makes me believe that whatever we eat our stomachs react accordingly.. How brilliant is that.. The human body is a marvel… 😀

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Pat Spencer

    To promote my upcoming books, I have been offering free recipes of the protagonists’ favorite foods. I think Lucy’s cookbook would be a hoot. But then, it has been noted that I have a weird sense of humor.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Sandy H

    Excellent observation that Jacqui made in her article: “I still like to read that they were mindful not to just strip a source of food but leave some so it could still grow and be available for another day…”
    Reminds me that one of the problems between our country’s early settlers and the indigenous people was that the newcomers cleared away what looked like weeds or odd bulbs, but they didn’t recognize these were food plants sustaining the native population. They didn’t think to “leave some so it could still grow and be available for another day…”
    Jacqui’s article is great for the list of unusual (possibly icky) edibles that sustained our earliest ancestors, and it also makes me mindful about not using up resources without thinking of tomorrow.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      That’s good to hear, Sandy as even now when some people are foraging they take it all without a thought for tomorrow and I think we should all mindful of that 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Jacqui Murray

      I am happily surprised that when I read about primitive populations, they often understand the importance of managing the plants. They take only what they need, consume what they take, and leave enough to regrow.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. wordsfromanneli

    It would be quite traumatic to have to make the switch from our present diet to Lucy’s, but people of her time had to eat what there was or die. No picky eaters there, I bet. I try not to dwell on the sentences that tell about the bugs they ate, but it does lend a lot of credibility to descriptions of their survival skills. Also, I like the way these tidbits are woven into the story along the way, so we get a real sense of their lifestyle without ever being bored. Never a dull moment in your books, Jacqui.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Jacqui Murray

      I forget which country–New Zealand maybe?–is trying to get their people to move away from cows to insects in the name of controlling climate change. I’ll be watching to see how that works!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. D. Wallace Peach

    Fascinating, Jacqui. I never thought about how man’s willingness to eat just about anything contributed to their survival and ability to migrate. I get a little squeamish about your characters’ diet when reading your books (especially the rotting meat), but I love the realism. Your research shines. Great stop on the tour. Thanks for hosting, Carol.

    Liked by 3 people

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      1. beetleypete

        They often say these days that ‘Insects are the future’, and it won’t be long before people in western countries will be having to eat food products made from them, I’m sure.
        Best wishes, Pete.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Haha..well I like ant egg salad and Aston forages for lizards for his nan when he visits her as for worms…I’ll abstain unless absolutely necessary…smile x

      Liked by 2 people

  9. marianbeaman

    I don’t think early peoples had to worry about pesticides or extra hormones in foods. The list of foods looks very “natural,” and some of it doesn’t quite suit my palate. Jacqui is the mistress of prehistoric fiction, a genre she has mastered. Thank, Carol, for featuring Jacqui, a very, very supportive of other authors, that’s for sure. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Jacqui Murray

      That is true, and both of my prehistoric groups (Lucy in this trilogy and Xhosa in the next) had a canis creature with them who could sniff out bad food and water more than we could. If you watch Bear Grylls, that man eats anything!

      Liked by 2 people

  10. petespringerauthor

    I suspect that early man was not nearly as fussy an eater as many of us are today. I imagine the bulk of their time was spent looking for food sources.

    Liked by 2 people

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