Re: Who Killed the Australopithecines?

Dave Oldridge (
11 May 1995 00:21:50 -0300

In article <>, (BARD) wrote:

> A. species was the most cunning creature of its day.

Only until h. habilus and h. erectus showed up. After that, this
premise was no longer true.

> A. species was omnivorous.

Yep, almost without a doubt.

> A. species' habitat was far larger than that of lower primates.

True, but NOT larger than that of h. habilus and h. erectus. Nor was
your a. species necessarily as well adapted to those specialized
habitats that modern apes thrive in.

> Thus, A. species was more adaptable than the lower primates.

In some ways, yes, and able to expand into a DIFFERENT range than the

> Thus, A. species should be with us today but is not.

There is no "should be" in evolution. The fact of the matter is that
the average species lasts about 5 million years (and there's a lot of
variation about that mean). Genetic drift, climate changes, geological
changes, the appearance of new predators, extinction of old prey, all
can conspire to render a species unable to continue. This is especially
true if it must share its range with extremely similar species that are
even a tiny bit better at surviving and reproducing.

Dave Oldridge