Re: Who Killed the Australopithecines?

3 Apr 1995 23:25:18 GMT

In article <>, (BARD) writes:
>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

Actually, I think you might take your own advice there, old "most glorious."
A. afarensis, if you care to investigate, had *curved fingers* (this is the
Hadar material, where we have fingers). Curved fingers --? The better to
climb trees with! Did they stay there all the time? Possibly not. But,
again in Hadar, toes were curved, too. I've asked you before to clarify
which Australopithecine group you're going on about -- do you even know?
Saying silly things? Why, look who's talking!