Re: Hominid Altitudinal-Latitudinal Adaptations

Rohinton Collins (
8 Nov 1996 20:47:52 GMT

Susan S. Chin <> wrote in article

> In some early Native American populations, the hunter/gatherers are said
> to spend less time foraging for food during the day than nearby N.A.
> farmers. So it's conceivable that the benefits of treating skins for use
> as clothing would outweigh time investment required. In fact, since
> clothing today is a part of almost every culture in one form or another,
> some less than others obviously, clothes must have been beneficial even
> to early human populations. How far back this practice extends, anyone
> care to give an educated guess?
> Susan
> who's done her speculation for the year :)
> --

Thanks Susan for injecting some fresh thought into this thread. I have been
thinking, here is another or alternative reason for the evolution of
hominid nudity. If you do not like my theory of hair-loss due to clothes
wearing, then how about hair-loss due to a shift in hominid lifestyle?
Early hominids (australopithecines) were likely to have followed a nomadic
pattern of subsistence since their food source (mainly fruit) was
distributed over a wide area due to a mosaic of forest and savannah
environments. The advent of Homo saw a change in diet. Evidenced by the
reduction in dentition, it seems that at least part of the Homo diet
consisted of meat. Now, for reasons I haven't yet fathomed (maybe someone
has some expertise in this area, perhaps the latter observations are
irrelevent anyway) let us assume that this change in diet accompanied a
change in lifestyle - from a largely nomadic lifestyle, to one where a
'home-base' featured to some degree. This home-base would likely have given
shelter from the weather, and perhaps protection from predators. It may
have lessened the requirement for fur, which I see as having solely an
insulation and protection function.

As I have said before, I do not think that there is necessarily a single
reason for the evolution of human nudity. Any reason which lessons the
requirement for fur may have assisted in this process.