Re: Okay seriously now (AAT again)

Phillip Bigelow (
Thu, 22 Dec 1994 05:02:19 GMT (Bryce Harrington) writes:

> (Phillip Bigelow) writes:
>> (Pat Dooley) writes:
>> Reseachers who specialize in the study of A. afarensis (Lovejoy,
>>Johanson, Mary Leaky, among others) have consistently stated that Lucy's
>>gait was nearly humanlike. It has never been characterized by any serious
>>researcher as an awkward gait on land. The most convincing argument for a
>>smooth human-like gait on Lucy are the footprints that Mary Leakey found.
>>The prints show the foot was directly aligned with the direction of travel,
>>and were surprisingly large in stride. There is clear evidence in the
>>prints of a strong, well-developed arch. All other apes lack a arch in the

>"Granting that in most respects afarensis was bipedal, Randy Susman
>and Jack Stern detailed more than two dozen separate anatomical traits
>suggesting that the species was nevertheless a less efficient biped
>than modern humans... The year before their Stony Brook collegue Bill
>Jungers had argued that Lucy's legs were too short, in relation to her
>arms, for her species to have achieved a fully modern adaption to
>bipedalism." _Lucy's Child_, 194 Johanson, Shreeve

>I would say these guys were "serious researchers," and they do indeed
>characterize afarensis as having a less than human gait.

Indeed. However, I did say "nearly human-like gait", didn't I? The
issue of the Laetoli prints is highly suggestive of a highly terrestrial
hominid, as Leakey, Johanson, and Lovejoy have stated. These researchers
have _never_ claimed that Lucy was awkward on land. Rather, they have said
that A. afarensis was "nearly humanlike" in gait. That is in keeping with
what has been reported by Johanson in his books, as well as his research
papers. I would make the claim that the only creature with a truely
humanlike gait can _only_ be a human.
By the way, none of the above mentioned researchers give much credibility to
the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis, and they are the most knowledgeable about early
hominid gait.