Re: Bipedalism and other factors and AAT

Troy Kelley (
Mon, 12 Jun 1995 17:44:37 GMT

Subject: Re: Bipedalism and other factors and AAT
From: J. Moore,
Date: Sat, 10 Jun 95 14:36:00 -0500
In article <> J. Moore,

>Tk> If you are talking, in some sort of round about way, about threat
>Tk> displays, I realize of course that SOME animals exhibit threat
>Tk> when cornered by a predator. By "our close relatives" I assume you
>Tk> chimps and gorrillas, but they are not currently under a lot of
>Tk> predation except from man. So they exhibit very little predatoral
>Tk> threat displays. I think you are mainly talking about baboons which
>Tk> exhibit threat displays as part of a defense, but this is also
>Tk> they are primarily savanna creatures which do not have the luxury of
>Tk> running to a tree every time danger is encountered.
>You are, of course, incorrect. In the post(s) I referred to, I talked
>about chimpanzees, not baboons, and the way they react to predators.
>You are again incorrect when you state that chimpanzees are not under
>pressure from non-human predators.

The fact is, chimpazees have very few natural (non-human) predators in
the wild
and will live to a ripe old age in the wild.

>Tk> The fact is that "Active young men will normally lose over 8 litres
>Tk> of
>Tk> water during a day when the desert temperature at midday is above
>Tk> 40 C." "A man weighing 90 kilograms can sweat over 2 liters of
>Tk> water
>Tk> in an hour of normal walking in a hot day in the desert."
>Tk> >
>JM> >First of all, who the hell ever said that australopithecines *ever*
>JM> >foot in the desert (besides you)?
>Tk> Gee.. I didn't realize I said "Australopithecines set foot in the
>Tk> desert". Thank you for explaining to me what I said.
>Tk> I was mearly using a quote I had found about water consumption to
>Tk> illustrate a point that hominids, when compared to other savanna
>Tk> creatures, do not conserve water very well.
>You gave a quote about how much water can be lost by active humans in
>the desert, which has nothing whatsoever to do with australopithecines
>unless they were in the desert. So your quote has nothing whatsoever to
>do with the subject at hand. (Question: How much water would, say, a
>wildebeest use in "an hour of walking in a hot day in the desert"?
>Answer: who cares? the desert has nothing to do with its actual habitat.)

The point was still that hominids do not conserve water very well, IN
ANY KIND OF HABITAT. I understand that they do not live in the desert
but I was merely pointing to their unusually high water consumption rates.
Did I not make that clear?

>Tk> You can use all the quotes on water consumption you want and I
>Tk> you I can find quotes that will contradict you.
>Please do. Please also make sure that these quotes have something to do
>with the actual habitat and level of activity that is relevant for
>austrolopithecines. That would be a hot, wooded savannah mosaic
>environment and creatures that act as chimps, gorillas, and indeed
>virtually all animals do in that environment: moving about sporadically
>rather than steadily, and resting in the readily available shade during
>the hottest parts of the day. I'm afraid this leaves out quotes about
>marathon running and walking through the desert.
>Tk> I did however noticed
>Tk> that the first part of this reference was an "estimate". I think
>Tk> the "estimated total daytime drinking requirements" by this author
was a
>Tk> very poor estimate.
>Peter Wheeler's articles are readily available, and his research
>techniques are stated in them. Feel free to counter his research with a
>critique of his methods. Otherwise, "I think that [this] was a very
>poor estimate" is simply a statement without basis, from someone who not
>only hasn't read the work, but who doesn't seem to understand how
>walking in the desert differs from foraging and resting in a wooded
>savannah mosaic environment.

If you really think I don't understand "how walking in the desert
differs from foraging and resting in a wooded savannah mosaic environment"
then I don't think you understood the point I was trying to make at all.

>Here, to help you in your critique, are the years, volume numbers, and
>page numbers for Peter Wheeler's articles in *Journal of Human
>Evolution*: 1984, vol 13:91-98; 1985, vol 14:23-28; 1990, vol
>19:321-322; 1991, vol 21:107-115; 1991, vol 21:117-136; 1992 vol
>23:379-388; 1992, vol 23:351-362; 1993, vol 24:13-28; 1994, vol
>Tk> I don't think there is really any question, no matter what quote you
>Tk> come up with, that the susceptibility of early hominids to
>Tk> was probably pretty high. If you look at any other creature on the
>Tk> savanna, the ways in which they conserve water resources are far
>Tk> superior to the human/pre-human model. Their body temperatures are
>Tk> generally higher, they allow their internal body temperatures to
rise in
>Tk> response to heat and they don't sweat, they pant. Sweating may be an
>Tk> efficient cooling mechanism for humans, but it is not an effective
>Tk> to stay cool unless there is access to plenty of water to re-hydrate
>Tk> body. I really don't think there is any argument about this.
>And yet they *were* there; oh, not in the treeless and waterless
>savannah that you imagine, but in the actual savannah environment that
>existed in reality. And they were there for millions and millions of
>years, which fact even the AAH accepts. So it is obvious that they
>could and in fact did live and indeed thrive there.

Yes, they thrived in an environment that had the necessary aquatic
resources in order to replenish any fluids lost during the hot day.

I think you are still missing the point here. The AAH argument is that if
evolved EXCLUSIVELY in a savanna environment, then why don't they
conserve water
resources as well as other savanna creatures?
>Tk> >Si> to the conclusion that we must have evolved in a safe, shady,
>Tk> >Si> aquatic environment.
>Tk> >Si> Troy Kelley
>Tk> >
>Tk> "Shady" at the seashore? You've *never* been to the beach?
>Tk> "You've *never* been to the beach?" - Now theres a good, well thought
>Tk> out, non-antagonistic question.
>Tk> And to use one of your previous quotes - "Who the hell said anything
>Tk> about a seashore?"
>Hardy and Morgan, the principle architects of the AAH.

Yes, but I never said anything about the sea shore. Personnally, I think
of the aquatic phases took place in fresh water rivers, lakes and
streams. It
is possible that some swimming, diving, foraging did occur in the ocean,
but this
is not good drinking water, so there must have been fresh water nearby.

>Tk> I don't think DRINKING sea water for re-hydration
>Tk> would be a very effective way to say alive on the Africa savanna.
>I would agree, but of course, there is no need to go around drinking sea
>water in a wooded savannah environment, as opposed to the putatively
>aquatic ancestor.
>JM> Safe? From
>JM> crocs and sharks we can't even see approaching? And which don't
>JM> respond
>JM> to human and chimpanzee threat displays (as big cats and other land
>JM> predators do)?
>Tk> And besides that, I don't think crocodiles like salt water, in fact,
>Tk> know that they don't live in salt water.
>"It's not what he doesn't know that scares me, but all the things he
>knows for sure that just ain't so." You invite scathingly critical
>replies when you post nonsense when you could easily check your facts
>first. The estuarian crocodile, as has already been pointed out to you,
>inhabits salt-water (that's why it's often called the "salt-water
>crocodile") and is the largest, and some say the most vicious, of the
>crocodiles. Since not only is this information easy to find in any
>library, but has in fact been posted in the AAH threads here and
>elsewhere several times, one is lead to the feeling that you are not
>merely ignorant of many things you profess to know, but in fact are
>*willfully* ignorant. You *could* change that, you know.

The estuarian crocodile lives in ESTUARIES which are BRACKISH; or
mixtures of some
salt with but mostly fresh water. If these crocodiles are exposed to the
kinds of
salt levels found in the ocean for a long enough period of time, they
will die.

Besides, crocodiles living in salt water, even though you seem to latch
on to this
issue rather quickly, is not the real issue for this news group. I was
implying that an aquatic environment was free from predators. I was
pointing out that given our many physical deficiencies, which I am not
going to
list again, we must have evolved in a relatively safe environment. We
may have
developed defensive strategies to help avoid crocodiles. And I have
stated in this
news group before, that I would imagine it would be easier to deal with
as a predator than it would be to deal with lions, or big cats on the
open plains.
The first reason is because crocodiles lay their eggs in shallow nests
around the
edges of their aquatic environment and do very little to defend these
These eggs would make a very good meal for early hominids and it would be
effective way to control the population of crocodiles as a whole. I
doubt if
early hominids would have any chance of making a meal out of lion cubs or
kittens. Secondly, crocodiles are dumb. They are much dumber than
lions, and I
would imagine that a defensive strategy could be developed to deal with
them after
some examination of their habits.

>Tk> Haven't you ever been to the beach?
>Tk> Troy Kelley
>Yes, I have, but didn't swim or wade, due to the prevalence of shark
>attacks in the area.

Shark attacks kill fewer people than lightning does each year. You should
gone in the water. BTW, did you drive to the beach? That is much more
that swimming in the ocean as well.
>Jim Moore (

Troy Kelley