Re: Okay seriously now (AAT again)

Phil Nicholls (
20 Dec 1994 13:19:00 GMT

In article <3d1tml$>,
Bryce Harrington <> wrote:
> (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.

This is a far cry from the characterization offerred by Pat that
A. afarensis walked like she was wearing flippers. Sussman and
Stern attribute the inefficience to retention of some arboreal
adaptation. How this helps the AAH position is beyond me.

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