Re: Who Killed the Australopithecines?

Robert Scott (
26 Apr 1995 08:10:00 GMT

In article <> TeKnO-RaVe-StOmPeR, writes:
> humans, but the threat is still there. Peronally I think that
> the Australopithecines caught the virus from attempts to interbreed
> with apes, however I have no evidence to support this claim.
> Yet we should remain cautious when dealing with the apes in the
> event that this was indeed the case.

This virus thing is a joke, right? A sort of absurd parody. It of course
_could_ be true. But, so could a lot of things.

I think people have already mentioned this, but it is important to
remember. _Extinction happens_ It just does. Most species that have ever
lived have gone extinct. For one reason or another, they have gone
extinct. So, why must we invoke special, elaborate, or unusual
explanations for either hominid origins or extinctions?
Australopithecines lasted a long time and then went extinct - probably
because their world changed and 1) they adapted - changing to something
else (early _Homo_?) - or 2) did not adapt and went extinct. It would be
far more surprising if australopithecines had not gone extinct.

_Homo sapiens_ hasn't exactly been a smashing success in terms of
longevity. We still need to last a couple million years to be on a par
with the Austalopithecines.

That virus thing would make a good movie though.