Re: Bipedialism and other factors and AAT

Brad Woodcock (
2 Jun 1995 18:46:40 GMT (Sir CPU) writes:
*Excessive eradication of post here*

>It would seem to me that since we were, and still are not a
>particularly fast or agile creature; combined with our tendency to
>suffer from a high degree of dehydration that occurs in moderately
>hot climates; combined with an unusually hairless body; combined
>with eyes that make it possible to only become active during the
>light of day and not the coolness of night; combined with not
>especially good hearing when compared with other creatures who
>can hear over the vast distances of the great plains; would lead one
>to the conclusion that we must have evolved in a safe, shady, semi-
>aquatic environment.

>Troy Kelley
This isn't a direct response to this particular post, but it is the thing
that brought this to mind again. Where in the world did this idea come from
that Australos dropped out of the trees and immediately began living
strictly on the savannah far from trees? They were obviously partially
arboreal, and they were tiny! A 40kg creature without any real natural
weaponry isn't much of a threat, overall. Doesn't it make more sense that
Australos lived in the borderlands between savannah and deep forest?
Possibly sleeping in or near trees for safety (as some baboons do), foraging
the borderland, and taking short forays for food farther into the forest,
and also out onto the more flat, less wooded savannah. This demonstrates a
larger variety of food resources, without requiring a huge increase in
foraging distances. I'm not sure what would cause them to move out into the
borderlands though. It could be that the forest was becoming smaller and
they were out competed by something in the forest (like monkeys). I could
just be that they were competed out of the forest by something (once again,
probably monkeys) but didn't quite have what it took to live on the
savannah. Something I've been very curious about, and which I have seen
mostly sidestepped or ignored completely is the question of what kinds of
animals would the A. Afarensis been competing against? What size predators,
and scavengers were around on the savannah, lightly wooded, and forest areas
of eastern Africa 3-2.5mya? This could be very important. If we're talking
about 10 40kg males and 12 30kg females taking on something along the lines
of a giant hyena or a lion something like twice the size of the ones around
today, I think the only recourse they could possibly have is heading into
the trees for safety. Finger nails, small canines and small body weight are
not the weapons I would ask for if I had to try to defend myself from
something that big and nasty. Even if we assume that the intelligence of
the Australopiths was significantly helpful in these situations, and that
they had weapons of some sort, that still makes for a very one sided fight.

Brad Woodcock The Trolls Guild "We're here to make you appreciate normal people."
Work:(217)352-6511 x7590 Home:(217)344-0363