Re: Dissecting the Aquatic Ape: Bipedalism

22 Jul 1996 19:21:55 GMT

Elaine Morgan ( wrote:
: n article <> wrote...

: I have hair on the backs of my hands and on the proximal phalanx
: > of each finger, whereas the last two phallanges of each finger are
: > hairless. These latter would have been in contact with the ground
: > and possessed knuckle pads had my ancestors ever knuckle-walked.
: > Is this a common hss feature?

: I thin it's not uncommon. I've noticed it in people.

: If so, is it evidence of a knuckle-
: > walking lca?
: >
: .
: I wouldn't have thought so. If the last phalanges had whorls on them
: like fingerprints it would mean something but not just hairlessness.

: Elaine

I believe I have seen a statement by an anatomist circa 1986 to the effect
that there is no evidence for knuckle-walking in any hominid skeleton.
There is evidence for suspensory climbing in the same finger and hand
bones. Oxnard has a book on the subject that uses a lot of powerful math
and blows away most people. Unfortunately Alex is off beavering away at
his dissertation, or he would probably be able to provide the latest
chapter and verse on the subject.

There is a rumor on Ardipithecus ramidus that made it into Nature that the
ramidines appear to be very close relatives to Pan despite their bipedal
anatomy. Can anyone post something on this?

Harry Erwin, Internet:, Web Page:
49 year old PhD student in computational neuroscience ("how bats do it" 8)
and lecturer for CS 211 (data structures and advanced C++)