Re: Savannah strawman

Mike Muller (
Mon, 08 Jul 1996 11:04:27 -0400

Karen wrote:
> > I agree with you that studying morphology alone is not enough but I
> don't know why you have the idea that paeloanthropology hasn't
> evolved. I am a student also and have studied isotope analysis
> research in anthropology classes as well as genetic research, etc.
> The analysis of trace elements is an exciting field and a lot of
> research is being done even with all the problems such as diagenesis.
> Amino acid analysis is being developed that may be able to show what
> the body temperatures of an extinct species was. Even Devonian era
> fossils have been found with collagen available for analysis.
> Paleoanthropologists are doing this sort of work.
> Idon't know Tim White but I very much doubt that he relies solely on
> morphology for defining his fossils. Perhaps you got your idea that
> paleoanthropologists rely only on morphology in their studies because
> of pop science media which informs people with an interest in hominid
> evolution but wouldn't be as interested in isotopic analysis, etc.
> The papers haven't come out on the finds yet and when White does write
> up and publish his finds, I doubt seriously that you will find that
> deals only with morphology.
> Karen

Have you read any of the published work on A.ramidus? There is published
material on ramidus and it is ALL MORPHOLOGY. Check Nature.
As I said before I will be a Ph.D candidate next year so obviously I
did not get my ideas from "pop science". I got them from journals such
as Journal of Human Evoution, Science and Nature. And from other
professionals in the field of paleoanthropology and geochemistry and
And it is not the paleoanthropologists that are doing the work on amino
acids and collengen it is the biochemists and geochemists who are doing
the ground breaking work in these and other cutting edge fields. You
obviously have had some general over view classes and not much else.
The bulk of the experimental work os being done by PALEONTOLOGISTS that
is different than paleoanthropologists. i.e. your Devonian example. I
myself am doing isotope analysis of Pleistocene Equus teeth and
Mercinaria shells to determine whether enamel carbonate can be used as a
quantitative archive for continental paleoclimate and if it is relaible
in regards to diagenesis and to determine seasonality. This is being done
in conjunction with the Vertebrate paleontology department ofthe
University of Florida and the geology and geochemistry departemtnt at
University of Michigan. NOT because I wouldn't have rather used homind
or primate samples but because the paleoanthropological resources and
researchers are not wiling to undertake this research. So sweetie
instead of just studying about this type of research I am doing it...and
you need to do somemore homework on the field of paleoanthropology.