Re: Is this all there is?

Phil Nicholls (
19 May 1995 20:24:11 GMT

In article <3pcsgd$>,
HARRY R. ERWIN <> wrote:
>Phil Nicholls ( wrote:
>: In article <3paehe$>,
>: Erin Miller <> wrote:
>: >In article <3p96uc$>,
>: >Phil Nicholls <> wrote:
>: >>
>: >>Cremo and Thompson do a fairly good job of describing some of the
>: >>debate over the Latolei footprints. However, there conclusion that
>: >>this is evidence for anatomically modern Homo sapiens rests on the
>: >>premise that if the foot was modern the rest of the critter was
>: >>modern also. Modern means just like ours.
>: >>
>: >>Wrong. Very wrong. In most organisms mosaic evolution is the rule,
>: >>not the exception. Assuming that the footprints are modern-looking,
>: >>this may simply be evidence for an early species of Homo, something
>: >>pre- Homo habilis. Anatomically modern Homo sapiens is defined by
>: >>features of the skull, not the foot.
>: >
>: >True. And regardless of what sort of creature made those tracks, the
>: >evidence is still there (crystal clear, IMHO) that the foot bones which
>: >are attributed to Austalopithecus afarensis, as much as the D.J/T.W. crew
>: >want to huff and puff and blow the house down, IN NO WAY MADE THOSE
>: >FOOPRINTS. I've yet to hear a sound argument that complies with the
>: >anatomy and the footprints.
>: >
>: >-erin
>: I agree. So what do you think? Early Homo, pre-habilis (sensu lato)?
>: Yes, I know we can't KNOW, but what does you gut tell you?
>My database keeps telling me that H. erectus did not descend from
>whatever it is that we keep calling H. habilis (which seems fairly
>closely related to A. africanus), but is instead a sister group. There
>are transitional specimens, in the 1470 group, but the main group of the
>habilines were still too arboreal at the stratigrafic levels we know them
>at. Interestingly, Ardipithecus appears to be defined on the basis of
>plesiomorphic characteristics, and is closer to an ancestor of Homo (and
>of Pan/Gorilla) than A. afarensis is. The rumored discovery of
>Paranthropus in 5 MY old sediments, suggests that all we have at present
>is a fairly sparse sample of a complex evolutionary radiation, with a lot
>of local subspecies.

Well, the only habiline that we have postcranial stuff for is OH-62 and
I am not sure that is a habaline at all. You may have recalled some of
my earlier posts where I have take the position (and I don't claim to
have originated this position) that A. afarensis is too derived to be
the "mother of us all" as Johanson insists.

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