Re: Dissecting the Aquatic Ape: Bipedalism

Paul Crowley (
Thu, 01 Aug 96 16:08:30 GMT

In article <4tnl7l$> "HARRY R. ERWIN" writes:

> Paul Crowley ( wrote:

> : > : > The niche is large-bodied suspensory feeding in open-canopy forest.
> : > : > [..] you have to climb down out of the tree to move to another tree.

> : I was querying: "The niche is . . . . ". It is not one currently
> : occupied by any animal. It is an imaginary niche -- and therefore
> : highly suspect.
> But one apparently occupied in the past.

I suggest that a serious re-examination of this "niche" would reduce
or eliminate its plausibility. There would definitely have been
niches for a larger bodied terrestrial apes or cercopithecoids (the
current chimp/baboon) able to climb, feed, hunt and sleep in the
trees; there would have been niches for smaller almost entirely
arboreal primates. But one in between . . . ?

Maps or aerial photographs might could the extent of suitable
habitats - open, but not too open canopy. I'd suggest it's not
common enough and is too dispersed and impermanent for a viable

Why create an imaginary niche when there are plenty of real ones?

> : > : Nearly all the lethal
> : > : attacks on vulnerable chimps, baboons, or other primates appear to
> : > : occur when a single victim is feeding or resting in a tree and the
> : > : attacking group moves silently on the ground to cut off all avenues
> : > : of escape.
> : >
> : > Not very applicable to leopard attacks, then.
> : Leopards are mostly nocturnal. They're why chimps sleep in trees.
> Point?

I was saying that reduced vision caused by lack of height has never
been reported or indicated as a possible handicap to chimps, baboons
or other species in field observations. And since big cats, including
leopards, are mostly nocturnal a hominoid victim won't see them at
night - no matter how tall s/he is.