Re: Okay seriously now (AAT again)

Pat Dooley (
13 Dec 1994 22:15:04 -0500

>In article <>, (Ed Berkeley)

> But why on earth would an aquatic ape ever go to all the trouble
>of developing a sweat mechanism?

It didn't. In common with other aquatic mammals it lost its acropine
(read mammalian sweat) glands. Its eccrine glands that had previously
exuded moisture on the palms and soles became widespread over its
body and became a salt excretion mechanism. When the AA returned to land
(probably because the sea of Afar dried up - large salt deposits have been
left as evidence), it needed a way to cool down. Acropine sweating,
the usual mammalian mode, was no longer an option. So it started
pumping more moisture out through those salt excretion glands. A kludge
but it sort of works.

> The migratory animals you refer to usually move at a fairly slow
>pace, combining movement with grazing. Very different from human
>long-distance running. It seems to me that the features you cite as
>indicative of an aquatic origin are much more easily explained as an
>adaptation to extensive running by H. erectus male hunters. In other
>words, I see bipedalism as continuing to evolve beyond the simple
>erect walking of Australopithecus. But hey, never mind, I'm just one of
>those stupid runners.

But not so stupid as to run in at noon in an Arizonan summer without
carrying or having access to ready supplies of water, one hopes.
They graze; you have to drink. You lope up to them at 15 mph; they dash
at 30mph plus. Little legged Lucy, the original Big Foot, would have been
so slow that she couldn't have run down nothing but bugs. Forget the
running hunter - it's a bogus theory. Try scavenging. Try stones to crack
the bones the predators couldn't crack. Try stcks to dig up termites.
That would be the early H. niche on the savannah circa 2 mya.

Pat Dooley