Re: AAT and swimming
Wed, 7 Dec 1994 01:55:14 GMT

In article <3c104i$>, (Pat Dooley) writes:
>In article <>, (Jon. Feinstein)
> Hmmm, the nose argument's been bothering me and I just realized why.
>So far every reconstruction of Autralopithicine noses have had more in
>common with ape noses than those of modern humans. So either all
>are descended from an aquatic critter (possibly a prosimian!) or the whole
>nose argument has to be dropped since the modern nose is probably a
>development of the later species of genus Homo.
>Noses don't fossilise and the AAH people haven't been doing the
>Who's to say what Australopithecine noses looked like? Any comment on
>when the developed, in the absence of any theory of evidence, is pure
>on Jon's part.
>Pat D


You're entitled to your own opinion, which I'm willing to respect, but
any conjecture regarding australopithecine noses (which are not so pure
considering that they are carefully based on the preserved portions of the
face in regards not only to the shapes of the noses of modern simians and
humans, but obvious points of muscle and cartilage attachment, the shapes
and angles of the faces and a whole host of other data) are not my own
but those far more experienced at fossil reconstruction than I ever will be.
If you care to debate with them, you are free to do so, but taking cheap
shots at me, or any other courteous member of this group isn't going to add
credibility to your arguments. Respond politely, and I promise to do the same.

<Rant mode off>

Now regarding those noses. You are correct that most, if not all
reconstructions have been done by people more connected with more
conservative views of paleoanthropology. If you disagree with these models
the best way to bolster the arguments in favor of four beliefs would be
to get ahold of some of the fossil casts of those hominids and do some
bone-out reconstructions of your own. When doing so, keep in mind the shapes
that modern noses come in and what clues exist in a modern skull. It is true
that cartilage does not fossilize, but there are hints at shape if you study
the matter carefully. Once you know the modern nose and what goes behind
it, try tracing its development back on known fossils. I won't tell you what
you'll find, because I, personally, haven't made such a study. You might be
right, but without such an investigation you'll never really know.

Only a slightly related note, I noticed someone brought up hairlessness
again. We've been bantering that around even more than the noses, but hair
doesn't fossilize any better than cartilage and other soft tissues and leaves
even less clues. It is possible I haven't heard, but I don't believe anyone
has proven just when Mankind's line lost its hair. We can talk hairlessness
until we're blue in the butt, but if there's any point that is pure
conjecture, that's the one!

Jon (usually found at