Harry Erwin (
Thu, 10 Aug 1995 20:24:41 -0400

In article <>, wrote:

> 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?

Practically nil. If you're interested, look up Ouranopithecus and the
Samburu mandible. J. Hum. Evol. has 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?

Scrappy, unidentifiable stuff.

> 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.

This is an area of particular interest at present.

Harry Erwin
Home Page: (try again if necessary)
PhD student in comp neurosci: "Glitches happen" & "Meaning is emotional"