Re: Repost on predation

Paul Crowley (
Tue, 21 Nov 95 15:24:14 GMT

In article <> "J. Moore" writes:

> PC> The Red Sea is croc-free. Crocodiles need turgid water, which comes
> PC> from rivers, estuaries or swamps. The Red Sea has none of these.
> PC> I've posted this many times.
> Oddly enough, never with any refs

You should not need to ask for refs for matters of common knowledge
or elementary deduction. The Red Sea is a long (1,500 mile) deep
rift valley in a high plateau. Its rivers/streams are short and
steep - quite unsuitable for crocs. Where it impinges on the Nile
delta it has high salinity so Nile crocs don't like it. It's been
much the same since the opening of the rift about 30mya. If you
really want a ref see: Atlas of Mesozoic and Cenozoic Coastlines by
A.G. Smith, D.C. Smith, and B.M. Funnell (1994).

> PC> The plausible reasons for not remaining in trees on land are:
> PC> (a) food (b) safety from land-based nocturnal predators.
> PC> In other words: La Dolce Vita.
> Why do we see no sign whatever of any adaptation to the massive
> salt load we would have been dealing with in that environment?

Massive salt loads result from the ingestion of large quanties of
sea-water. The AAT does not propose that hominids picked up their
shellfish with their teeth and swallowed them whole while under
water. (Do you need a ref for this?)

> Why do we instead see only those adaptations we might reasonably
> expect from a terrestrial environment?

For God's sake, Man, take a look at your own body! Look around the
staffroom. Go down to a beach. Do you seriously suggest that the
adaptions you see are those "we might reasonably expect from a
terrestrial environment". Did the fat slobs you see around you
evolve on the mosaic/savannah?

There can hardly be a more preposterous idea in the whole of
science. For one thing, his/her fat layer is in all the wrong
places for insulation against the night cold. For another, fat
needs surplus food, it's heavy and it greatly impedes the healing
of even minor scratches. It's hard to imagine a group of more
selectively disadvantageous features. Have you ever tried walking/
running barefoot and naked through the woods? Poison ivy would be
the least of your problems. An animal in that environment would
have rapidly acquired a sensible coat of hair - even if it didn't
have one at the start.

If only you could get your head out of the books and ask yourself
what it is that you are really trying to explain, then *maybe* you
might do some real science.