Re: bipedalism and AAH

Phil Nicholls (
28 Apr 1995 00:30:17 GMT (Pat Dooley) writes:

Nicholl's writes:

Thank you for spelling my name correctly.

<< deletions>>

>> And as long as you [Elaine Morgan] continue to cast the work of
>> anthropologists as strawmen, no one is going to take you
>> seriously. We have fossil evidence showing that hominids moved
>> moved from the forest to savannah.
> Unfortunately, that evidence postdates the evolution of bipedalism.
> As I understand it, Lucy and her contempories are not believed
> to have been savannah dwellers. You might be able to attribute
> improvements to bipedalism, such as the ability to lock the knee
> when standing upright, to a move to the savannah, but you cannot
> claim the original evolution of bipedalism had anything to do with
> the savannah.

I don't believe hominids actually occupied the savannah until
Homo habilis. I believe that behavior comes before changes in
morphology and since most primates can walk bipedally the fact
that one of them specialized in it should not be a surprise.
I believe that the protohominid ancestor was not an arboreal
quadruped but a suspensory feeder and that this acted as a
constraint in that when it need to come to the forest floor
it's arms were not much use and was hence predisposted to
bipedal locomotion. I believe early hominids likely occupied
a niche that included forest and savanna -- a gallery forest
is a good bet since they often border savannas.

>> We have no evidence that they moved into the water. There is
>> nothing in the AAH that can be tested and until this changes
>> it remains just another just so story.

> And we have no evidence of anything else for the period from 7
> mya to 4 mya or thereabouts, i.e, the period during which
> bipedalism evolved. Any theory about how bipedalism evolved
> is, by your argument, is another just so story.

No. Pete Wheeler tested his hypothesis as did Rodman and
McHenry. However, I will agree that all hypotheses that
include no provisions for such testing (and you will find lots
of them in the anthropological literature) are "just so

Phil Nicholls "To ask a question you must first
Department of Anthropology know most of the answer."
SUNY Albany -Robert Sheckley SEMPER ALLOUATTA