Re: Who Killed the Australopithecines?

2 Apr 1995 19:39:57 GMT

BARD ( wrote:
: In article <>, BARD <> wrote:
: Re: Erwin's Statements...

: You're really quite wrong about "A. species." One of the
: principle characteristics of Australopithecines is that
: were *NOT* arboreal. That's to say, the very evolution
: of this species was a response to the major environmental
: chages in Africa 7.5 to 4.5 million years ago. The jungle
: begin to receed in places like Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania and
: Omo and Afar in Ethiopia. Monkeys became A. species.

Oh? Catarrhine monkeys are descended from Miocene apes that developed a
folivorous adaptation. Look at Victoriapithecus. It seems to be closest
to Pliopithecus in its features.

The root of the African Ape/A./H. clade was just slightly more primitive
than A. ramidus. (When I replace the characteristics of A. ramidus by
something just one step more primitive in those areas where features
continue to change in A. afarensis, it pops in most parsimoniously between
Graecopithecus and the base of the African Apes. Hence bipedalism was not
an adaptation to moving around on the ground as ->a way of life<-, but
rather to moving around on the ground when down from the trees. We don't
see loss of arm and leg adaptations to tree-climbing (such as curved
finger bones and the divergent hallux) until H. erectus. So A. and early
Homo stayed up in the trees when they could; there just weren't as many
trees to stay up in and they had to come down part of the time.

: Please, in the future, find out what you're talking about
: before saying such silly things.

Would you like chapter and verse?

: The Most Glorious Bard

Harry Erwin
Doctoral student in computational neuroscience