Could a. ramidus prove AAT?

Troy Kelley (
Wed, 4 Jan 1995 17:58:32 GMT

I wish I had more time to give to this post, but I just wanted to throw
out this idea.

BTW, happy new year to everyone out there. I have really enjoyed this
group, even though it can be confrontational at times, most folks seem to
keep to the issues and don't resort to name calling.

I did track down the "Nature" article on a. ramidus, and while I did not
understand most of the "dental" sections (I need to brush up on my dental
anatomy knowledge) I did see that they didn't have enough evidence to
determine whether the a. ramidus was bipedal or not.

But, suppose they do discover more a. ramidus remains and it is concluded
that it was bipedal and lived in the forest and not on the savanna, that
would put some holes in the "savanna promotes bipedalism" arguments. So,
if that is the case, what would be the arguments for bipedalism for a
forest dweller?

There was a previous post by someone (Phil, was that you?) who said
chimpanzees had been observed running along next to river beds in a
bipedal manner. Also that they were wading into water to catch fish.
Perhaps this is what encouraged a. ramidus to do the same?

I can think of a few things that would encourage bipedalism of a
tree-dweller (running between trees) but most of these would favor
quadrapedalism more because that is more efficient. Most tree-dwelling
monkeys run on all fours when they hit the ground because it is simply
faster than two legs. So, what could possibly encourage bipedalism from
an early tree-dwelling primate? I think wadding in shallow streams and
rivers (which many times run directly through dense African forests) is a
very plausible answer.

Any ideas

Troy Kelley