Re: A quick question.

Phil Nicholls (
6 Jan 1995 20:02:30 GMT

In article <3ek6fc$>, <jr9426@albnyvms.bitnet> wrote:
>At a time when the forests were shrinking and savannahs were expanding why
>would a hominid -- with very little defence -- choose a scavenger-type life?
>Were hominids driven out of the forest, if so, then by what? What does the
>fossil record tell of other primates that would have been dominant enough to
>drive out a species. Could some of these have been misclassified as hominid?
>Thanks in advance
>James Riesmeyer

During the Miocene Africa began to shift from a warm, moist climate to
a warm drier climate and began to take on the characteristics we find
there today. At about this time there was an adaptive radiation of
apes. It is not so much a question of being driven out as an expansion
to fill new ecological niches. The savanna niche was expanding right
about the time we think the hominid/pongid common ancestor and its
immediate descendents were around.

Because of a more effective heat rejection system, hominids were able
to forage on the savanna at a time when most predators were seeking
shade to avoid overheating.

At least, that is one possible explanation.

I see you are a fellow SUNY student. Anthropology?

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