Re: Fossilization

J. Moore (
Sat, 29 Jul 95 10:30:00 -0500

NE>Do you think gorillas and chimps haven't evolved in 5 - 10 Myr? Your
NE>question makes it apparent that you think we evolved from creatures
NE>identical to modern gorillas or chimps. We do not have a fossil record
NE>for gorillas and chimps, and thus are denied much information from those
NE>branches of the hominoid evolutionary tree.

An> Why not? Why don't we have a fossil record for gorillas or chimps?
An> Ann

The answer is almost certainly habitat. If, as seems likely, they
lived in forests like they do now, well, that's a horrible place to
be if you want to end up fossilized. ;-) Problem is you rot, and
little bugs and whatnot eat you, and you don't get covered up by
sediment or volcanic ash, which are topnotch ways to get
fossilized. Animals which spend a great deal of time in, for instance,
mud flats or shallow water get fossilized at one hell of a rate.
That's why there's so many fossil pigs in Africa that they can be
used to check dating processes, as I mentioned in a post on the
Dating of 1470.

This effect of environment of the likelihood of fossilization
would seem to be why we find more hominid fossils than fossils of
proto-chimps and proto-gorillas. It also would seem to be why
you don't find as many hominid fossils as you do pigs.

Jim Moore (

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