Re: AAH: humans long-distance runners?

Rod Hagen (
Fri, 16 Dec 1994 09:59:24 +1000

In article <lmm5-071294021339@>, (loopy) wrote:

> In article <jlittle-3011941644580001@>, (Jim
> Little) wrote:
> > Water
> > that runs off the body in rivers does not cool any better than a very thin
> > film.
> Have you ever been to a very hot dry place? My best friend just spent eight
> months in Senegal, where the climate was absolutely dry and daytime
> temperatures regularly hit 120 degrees fahrenheit. I asked her whether she
> was always drenched in sweat, and she said no. The perspiration always
> evaporated very quickly in the dry heat.
> | Lucie M. Melahn
> |

I'm one of those poor unfortunates who, in most circumstances, sweats like
crazy. 25 degrees celsius and I'm dripping!

My work however frequently takes me out into the very hot, dry parts of
Australia. The only time I don't obviously sweat is when the temperature
climbs over 40 degrees celsius and the humidity is low. Maybe "excess"
human "sweating" is due to original optimisation for high, dry
temperatures. Sounds a bit like the savannah to me!

My work has also resulted in me spending a large amount of time with some
of the world's supreme desert living people. Local knowledge etc enable
homo sapiens to survive extremely effectively in areas in which many other
species don't stand a hope in hades.

OK australopithecus is a long way removed from homo sapiens, but it still
had a pretty prodigious brain/ body weight ratio by the standards of the
day. It seems to me that intelligence compensating for / enabling any
increased water requirements that australopithecus may have had, is a far
more probable explanation of the "sweat" issue than any return to the
water, given the absence of any real hard evidence of the latter.

Rod Hagen