Re: AAT and swimming

Phil Nicholls (
12 Dec 1994 05:16:45 GMT

In article <>,
Pat Dooley <> wrote:
>Loopy Lemon <> writes:
>>Completely false. The bones do have different shapes in Africans,
>>Caucasians, and Asians; in fact if you are trying to identify the ancestry
>>of a skull (Asian vs. African vs. Caucasian), the nose is one of the best
>>places to look.
>>> So, it is going to be REAL hard to reconstruct noses based on skeletal and
>>> muscle attacment analysis.
>>Not at all. I agree that you wouldn't use muscle attachments, but you can
>We all know that you candetermine race based on skeletal evidence. The
>question is whether the reconstruction of the nose by forensic scientists
>is based on evidence specific to the nose or on other evidence. For example,
>if the skull suggests Asian then the scientist isn't going to reconstruct
>a non-Asian nose. When you start looking at ancient fossils you really
>don't have much to work with except a hole in the skull. The cartilidge
>and bone fragments that a forensic scientist might use are likely not
>to have been preserved.
>Which gets us a bit off the point - why are humans unique amongst
>primates in having down-ward pointing nostrils?
>Pat Dooley sticking his nose in.

Because humans are unique among primates for having flat faces.
Flat faces are a RECENT change. Australopithecines have
considerable subnasal and alveolar prognathism, giving the face
a dish-shaped profile. There is no way the would have had a
modern human nose. Australopithecine noses would have been more
like those of chimpanzees.

You don't need to have cartalage. This is not about nose shape in
modern humans, this is about nose shape in early hominids that
hand much different facial profiles. I have mentioned this at
least five or six times but it seems to get ignored.

Philip "Chris" Nicholls Department of Anthropology
Institute for Hydrohominoid Studies SUNY Albany
University of Ediacara
"Semper Alouatta"