Mon, 07 Aug 95 22:12:26 -0500

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

NE>I may have spoken too soon about not having a fossil record for gorillas
NE>and chimps. There are fragments and reasonably complete fossils that MAY
NE>be gorilla or chimp precursors. However, no one really agrees about the
NE>systematic position of these specimens, and so it seems safest not to
NE>make any extravagant claims about them.

So there are no books about chimp or gorilla evolution. How about
journal articles?

NE>Its not clear why we don't have a better fossil record for the African
NE>apes. One suggestion is that the ancestors of these apes were probably
NE>inhabitants of rain forest, which is an environment notably inhospitable
NE>to preserving bone.

That is certainly a reasonable possibility. Nevertheless, have not
SOME fossils been discovered?

NE>A more likely explanation is that the appropriate fossil bearing
NE>sediments simply haven't been discovered yet. I expect this situation
NE>will change.

Not much money has been allocated to this research on fossil simians,
has it? And whatever bones have been accidentally discovered have been
mostly ignored once they were labeled non-humanoid, like that box of
junk in which Clark recently found the ankle bone and apish foot.

Too bad, but priorities rule.


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