Re: Hominid Altitudinal-Latitudinal Adaptations

Doug McKean (
Wed, 30 Oct 1996 17:21:32 -0500

Rohinton Collins wrote:
> CHESSONP <> wrote in article
> <5541gm$>...
> > Why would a creature with a perfectly good coat of hair (or fur) decide
> to
> > invent clothing? This theory should be called the "Fashion Ape Theory"
> or
> > FAT.
> You fail to follow my logic. A hominid who has discarded skins lying around
> as a result of kills or scavenging would be likely to take advantage of the
> protection they give against harsh weather and the environment (ever come
> off a motorbike without protective clothing? Don't reply to this one ;-) ).
> A clothed hominid would be better off, both in terms of individual survival
> and genetic success. Once clothes have become cultural, selection will
> favour a less hairy hominid, since it takes energy to grow hair, energy
> which would be better spent increasing the hominid's reproductive success
> (thus increasing the incidence of the hominid's genes - including those for
> less body hair - in the gene pool). This isn't of course the only factor,
> as I stated, increased efficiency in heat loss due to sweating would also
> favour selection for a less hairy hominid. There may have been other
> selection pressures. Anyway, as you know, the selection pressure needn't be
> very large in order to cause a large phenotypic change in a large number of
> generations.
> Regards,
> Roh

I disagree. A well adapted furry hominid would have to develop
the technological skills and 'free' time (unnecessary hunting/gathering time)
involved to treat and soften the skins in order to wear skins as protection.
Skins fresh off a dead animal that I've seen dry hard as a board.

Doug McKean
The comments and opinions stated herein are mine alone,
and do not reflect those of my employer.