Re: AAT reply from Elaine Morgan

Troy Kelley (
Tue, 27 Dec 1994 15:56:25 GMT

Subject: Re: AAT reply from Elaine Morgan
From: Phillip Bigelow,
Date: Sun, 25 Dec 1994 03:54:32 GMT
In article <> Phillip Bigelow, writes:
>>Elaine Morgan asks:
>>>Fat. Yes, aging captive overfed apes (esp orangs) will become obese.I
>>>stated this in Scars of Evolution. But the fat adheres to the
>>>underlying tissues, is not bonded to the skin as in Homo and
>>>aquatics. Among primates only Homo has fat babies and infants. Why
>>>should that be?
> A better question is why didn't you include in your book other
> explainations for plump human babies? :)
> I can think of at least one plausible alternative explaination for
>condition in infants: Partial protection against famine.
>If we assume that hominids went directly from a forest habitat into a
>open, savannah-like environment to secure food, life would get much more
>complicated for the hominids. First, they would have to follow their
>In the case of the great apes, their territory is only a few square
>kilometers, and it contains food that you don't have to hunt down; you
>reach up and pull some leaves off the branch you are sitting on. Famine
>much less of a threat to apes who never leave their source of food. On
>other hand, if you have to follow the herds to get your food, you are
>dependent on a myriad of variables, none of which are friendly to
>wandering on the plain. If the game animals are not there, you may
>Babies cannot hunt for themselves, so they would be most suseptable to
>immediate death, particularly if the mother stops lactating during the
>famine. A fat baby would survive longer than a thin baby during these
>stressful times. Frankly Elaine, I think that a savannah-derived
>explaination for obese babies is better than the one you provided us in
> <pb>
So, following this logic, hunting dogs, lions, cheetahs, leapards,
hyenas, and a host of other carnavoirs should give birth to plumb babies
because they all have to follow game animals around on the savannah for
food. This is not the case. The fat deposits of these animals is not
similar to the fat deposits in man. I doubt if any of the animals I
listed, as newborns, could float in water the way a human baby can.

Troy Kelley