Re: Who Killed the Australopithecines?

Phil Nicholls (
19 Apr 1995 22:31:45 GMT

In article <3n1rdk$>,

> In the study of Mitochondrial DNA it has been shown
>(Wilson,Caan) that there has been no passage of genes from H. Erectus
>>to H.Sapiens. One can agree with Bard that a sort of genocide took
>>place on H.Erectus. One can also assume that this may be the case of
>>the Australopithecines.
> Vincent1.

Even in the "out of Africa" scenerio proposed by Cann and Stoneking
Homo sapiens evolves from Homo erectus. It is therefore difficult
to argue that no Homo erectus genes have been passed on to Homo

The mtDNA analysis is one piece of a very important debate taking
place in anthropology today and the question is by no means settled.
As to the issue of genocide the problem with this hypothesis is
that there is no evidence to support it, either for Homo erectus
or for Australopithecines. One Australopithecine species,
Australopithecus robustus, seems to have continued for some time
after Homo habilis disappeared.

Extinction happens. Sometimes there are reasons, sometimes its
a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Phil Nicholls "To ask a question you must first
Department of Anthropology know most of the answer."
SUNY Albany -Robert Sheckley SEMPER ALLOUATTA