Re: AAT reply from Elaine Morgan

Pat Dooley (
8 Jan 1995 16:30:36 -0500

>But it appears to me that the SAH (sweaty ape hypothesis) is more
>consistant with this difficult transition than the assumption of an
>phase. Our sweat system allows us to be active at midday, when other
>savanna animals must be quiescent. This would allow our ancestors to
>venture down from the trees in safety during the development of true
>bipedalism, and eventually lead to the evolution of our long-distance
>running ability, and the transition to big-game hunting.

You assume our sweat system is so effective that it allows humans to
in the noon-day sun niche. You forget the cost of that sweating in water
and electrolytes. Not even the best marathon runners can run without
drinking on the run. However, there was no one to man such stations
on the savannah, and they didn't have little paper cups to drink from.

If we observe modern day savannah hunter-gathers, we find that they
by stealth and rely on projectile weapons. The bushmen use bows and
arrows; the Australian aborigines use spears with a sling mechanism
and the boomerang. The latter also made great use of fire in there
to the point where they transformed much of the Australian ecology into a
fire ecology.

Pat D