Re: Who Killed the Australopithecines?

Sun, 2 Apr 1995 16:16:02 GMT

In article <>, BARD <> wrote:
>In article <3lkim9$>,
>HARRY R. ERWIN <> wrote:
>>Re: BARD's comments.
>>He's making the assumption that evolution is directional. A bit silly. It
>>would just as appropriate to ask what killed off H. erectus. H. erectus
>>survived (with no directionality in terms of feature evolution) for about
>>1.7 MY, a long survival period for a species. The australopithecines were
>>also very successful and stable in their niches. The answer is probably a
>>combination of competition and niche contraction. A. species were
>>dependent on trees. H. erectus was adapted to the hot savanna and lacked
>>the climbing adaptations seen in A. species and in H. habilis. If there
>>was a major contraction in the area of the wooded savanna around 1.9 MY BP
>>with an increase in the unwooded areas, we would expect to see the pattern
>>of replacement we actually see.
>>Harry Erwin
>>Doctoral student in computational neuroscience

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.

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

The Most Glorious Bard