Re: Why Large Gap Between Species...?

Nat Turner (
5 Dec 1996 16:39:54 GMT

In article <586ro8$>,
Geoff Alex Cohen <> wrote:
>T&B Schmal ( wrote:
>: In article <581tr6$>, (Nat
>: Turner) wrote:
>: > This has never been clear to me. Now that we've established man's
>: > origins, how do we explain the absence of all his closely related
>: > sub-species?
>: Good question. Lions, cheetahs, leopards, wolves - all survive in Africa
>: and they *don't* dedicate themselves to wiping each other out.
>Basic demographic theory would tell us that when two species compete,
>either an increased population of species 1 inhibits itself more than
>it inhibits species 2 (because of the competition), or it inhibits
>further growth of its own population more than it inhibits growth of
>the competing population (because of the carrying capacity of the

Why do you assume there was "competition"? I doubt seriously if piths
competed against hominids.

>Two competing species can only co-exist if they both inhibit their own
>population as they grow more than they inhibit their competitor.
>This is obviously what's happening in coexisting carnivore population.

>So I theorize without evidence other than extinction of all other hominid
>(hominoid?) species that homo sapiens can outcompete other hom* species
>to the extent that an increased number of homo sapiens inhibits the
>population of competitors more than it inhibits the population of homo

Was it really that pat? And why assume a higher homomid was better
equipped than a lower one? Why were we better equipped to survive than
homo habilis?


>The Lotka-Volterra equations describe these relationships quite elegantly.