Re: Who Killed the Australopithecines?

PudgySassy (
2 Apr 1995 16:53:26 -0400

> 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.

"NOT" arboreal? "silly"?

While there is little doubt that Australopithicus was capable of bipedal
locomotion (if somewhat inefficiently) while in terrestrial settings,
there is also significant argument to suggest that (for example)
A.afarensis exhibited BOTH terrestrial and arboreal locomotion

"The contention of a mixed arboreal and terrestrial behavioural
repertoire would make adaptive sense of the Hadar australopithecine
forelimb, hand, and foot morphology without contrdicting the evidence of
the pelvis" (Wolpoff,1983b,p.451)

I believe that features such as long upper limbs, short lower limbs, long
and curved fingers and toes strongly suggest that some Australopithicines
spent considerable amounts of time in trees (eating, sleeping, escaping
from preditors, for example).

The bent-knee and inefficient bent-hip also point to a species capable of
bipedal activities, but NOT necessarily exclusively so.