Re: Hominid Altitudinal-Latitudinal Adaptations

Susan S. Chin (
Fri, 8 Nov 1996 05:14:40 GMT

Doug McKean ( wrote:
: 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 ;-) ).

As much as I dislike this form of speculation, another possible function
of skins as early clothing is protection from predators. One extra layer
the predator has to claw or sink their teeth into (and alot less messy too).

: 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.

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?

who's done her speculation for the year :)