Re: Dissecting the Aquatic Ape: Bipedalism

Susan S. Chin (
Wed, 24 Jul 1996 06:27:53 GMT

HARRY R. ERWIN ( wrote:

: 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?

Did this rumor appear in a recent issue of Nature? I have read (not in
Nature) that some now feel certain characters of ramidus (molar size,
enamel thickness) might pose a problem if Australopithecus anamensis, the
4.2my hominid fossils from Kenya, is accepted as ancestral to afarensis.
There isn't enough time between the two species, the argument goes, for
ramidus to evolve some of the features of anamensis. Instead, they feel
ramidus may be from a different lineage. I don't believe White, et al.,
think this since the analysis of ramidus has not even been completed.

Of course, the whole arguments for Punctuated Equilibrium could somehow
be put into action somewhere in there...

Also, are we distinguishing between bipedal anatomy (eg forward placement
of foramen magnum) vs. bipedal locomotion? (those elusive knee and hip
joints) As far as I know, ramidus' postcranial anatomy has not been
fully disclosed in the scientific literature.