Re: Why Large Gap Between Species...?

Rohinton Collins (
4 Dec 1996 22:59:44 GMT

> The Austalopithecines left the forrested regions for the savannahs. In
> doing so they left the forests to the other apes, who remained and
> continue to evolve to their present form. As savannah dwellers, the
> Australopithecines were forced to compete with other, more advanced
> hominids. Though they were not as intelligent as the later Homo lines,
> the robust forms specialized in a rough vegetarian diet. Hence there was
> reduced competion with the hunting/scavenging Homos, and they survived
> well into the reign of H. Erectus. They may have been better suited than
> the apes for savannah dwelling, but they had long since lost the traits
> necessary for forest dwelling. Natural selection wiped them out.

Perhaps competition with Homo (for resources) first marginalised and then
wiped out the australopithecines. Perhaps they were driven forcefully to
extinction. It seems to trouble modern man little to commit genocide on his
own species. It is not hard to imagine our ancestors behaving in a similar
way towards the australopithecines. They would have been very different in
appearance - far more so than any racial variation seen today in modern