Re: AAT reply from Elaine Morgan

David M woodcock (
31 Dec 1994 17:30:21 GMT

>>Well . . . I don't know . . . baboons seem to do okay.
>> Caroline R. Cooper
>> New to this Group & Truly Amazed

>Baboons are still quadrupedal and can run a fsf than any bipedal
>human, particulary one of Lucy's stature.

But simply running off --every baboon for itself --is not their
response to predators.

>Baboon males have truly awesome fangs; even leopards stay well

And we know leopards are intimidated because baboons don't break
and run --leaving the young to be picked off -- but stand their

>Baboons are still good climbers, so they retreat to the nearest trees
>when danger threatens.

They do if trees are convenient, danger is marked; still withdrawal
is not helter skelter. And since A.afarensis judging by the skeletal
evidence was a good climber this point is irrelevant.

>Baboons can go far longer without water than any human.
>Baboons are still hairy. They are not profuse eccrine sweaters
>like humans.

There's no reason aside from the AAH to suppose A.afarensis or
the first hominid was not hairy. Human water needs are linked
to sweating; its unclear just when the human sweating adaptation
evolved; it has advantages and disadvantages; the latter can
generally be coped with by knowing where the water is. Note that
there's also great variability in the water needs of other savanna

>If the savannah theory had any validity, then we'd be much more
>like baboons than we are. They are adapted to the savannah.
>Humans, without tools, aren't.

A.afarensis was more like a baboon than are we:
Certainly much stronger by weight than modern humans, better climbers,
greater sexual dimorphism. Probably hairier, possibly needed less
water. And there is no reason to suppose they didn't have tools.
The oldest evidence of stone tool making dates to only 2.5-2.6 Ma;
but there's no reason to suppose the common Pan/Homo ancestor
was not a tool user.

Of course the hypothetical AA on the savanna at 4 Ma would've been in
bad shape -- hairless, low sexual dimorphism, no stronger
than H.sapiens, no better climber than H.sapiens, obese, unable
to use tools even after 1 Myr of smashing open shellfish [btw whatever
happened to 1 Myr of shell middens ? ] Little wonder they were so
rare no one's ever found a fossil of one. :)

>Pat Dooley

--David Woodcock