Re: AAT Questions...

Alex Duncan (
7 Jul 1995 17:24:04 GMT

Pat says:

>>Our nearest relatives have no such system - chimps and gorillas don't
>>sweat, no matter how hot it gets or how hard they work.

I've just spoken to Dr. Claud Bramblett, who is a renowned primatologist
with lots of experience with catarrhine primates in both the field and
the lab. Claud assures me that both chimps and gorillas DO sweat. While
we're at it, so do other animals like camels, horses, etc. (I suspect
the perissodactyl hoof is originally an aquatic adaptation for smashing
coral, and the hump of camels? a flotation device.)
I think AAT proponents are making the common assumption that
human features are necessarily UNIQUE to humans. The burden of proof is
on AAT supporters to demonstrate that all of the features that they say
humans evolved in an aquatic environment don't also show up in other
primates (e.g. salty tears -- tears are an excretion, and like most
excretions are salty, and thus provide a hospitable environment for the
eyeball. I don't know for certain that other primates also have salty
tears, but I would eat my computer if I found out they didn't.)

Alex Duncan
Dept. of Anthropology
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX 78712-1086