Re: Are we "special"?

John Waters (
9 Dec 1996 01:07:15 GMT

Bill Burnett <> wrote in article

> 3) while Joey Major and Joey Minor are still in the
pouch, Joey Minimus
> is developing in the womb and if that's not a multi-age
brood then pass
> the mayonaise and I'll eat my hat.

JW: No need to do that Bill. I'll happily pass on the
marsupials, and stick to the placental. Better still, I'll
stick to the Anthropoid Apes. That is enough.

The importance of the multi-age broods is the social
interaction element. In respect of placental mammals, the
Indian Tree shrew can have an SBI multi-age brood for short
periods of time, but the second brood dies shortly after

The multi-age brood characteristic is therefore not unique
among placental mammals, and I am pleased to see that it is
not unique among marsupials either. (Pleased because it
shows that humans are in no way special.) Now, you also
mentioned Elephants...

Nevertheless, I still maintain that the difference between
the human species and the Anthropoid Apes in this regard
should be defined and clarified by professional science.
After all, if man evolved from an ape, then the evolution
of the multi-age brood characteristic may have had a
significant evolutionary impact.

Thank you for the education.