In my family we play a game called "Animal Superpowers" -- in which when we watch nature shows and find out about animals, we call out their amazing powers -- for example the short horned lizard can shoot blood from its eyes to frighten predators (google it); duckbill platypuses and sharks can sense electrical energy from living organisms; squid can glow in the dark and change colours; and of course birds can fly. So what are our human superpowers? Obviously we can talk and make tools (and play video games) and such but that doesn't carry much weight with my kids.
But I now know several things about humans which we do BETTER than any other animal, besides talk, sing and tell lies! For example:
* we are the ONLY animal that can throw things with accuracy, far away, while we and/or the target are moving. Yep, the throwing animal.
* we are the undisputed long distance running champions of the animal kingdom. Yes, no other animal can run for as long distances as we do.
Probably this is how ancient humans got their food without any weapons to speak of. Pick up rock. Fling rock hard at animal. Hit (because of throwing superpower). Run after injured animal. Throw more rocks. Run for hours until it is tired out. Hit it with more rocks and then eat it. Yum.
Running is our thing. We are running animals. We have no hair on our bodies so we can sweat and cool off while we run. We have variable running speeds because we run on our hind limbs only and therefore our breathing doesn't have to match our gait as it would if we had to use our arms for running and they compressed our lungs (like with other mammals). Old people can run. Kids can run. Pregnant women can run for most of their pregnancies. Everyone can run. And we can run FAR. It's our superpower!!! In my mind, that's why it's so fun to be able to do it. We were born to!
I'm considering taking some rocks and trying to fling them at targets as I run. I've read some accounts first contact where explorers were absolutely astounded at the accuracy and strength of the throws. On the other hand I don't want to get arrested -- maybe when I'm running in the forest...
(also did you know we are the longest-lived mammal? Yep, also true).