Re: An alternative to ST and AAT

Susan S. Chin (
Sun, 10 Nov 1996 07:02:44 GMT

Rohinton Collins ( wrote:
: Thomas Clarke <> wrote:
: > Hominids are unique.

Hominids are the only habitually bipedal members of Hominoidea. This is
a mode of locomotion not found in the apes or New/Old World Monkeys or
any other primate. There were likely unique circumstances for the
evolution of bipedalism in hominids.

: In what way? Every species is unique. The elephant has a trunk which is
: 'unique' amongst extant species. You'll be saying next that hominids are
: special.

Without sounding anthro-centric, hominids are distinct in that whatever
evolutionary pressures existed sometime between 4.5-7mya (ramidus is
4.4mya, though it's bipedal status has yet to be determined or announced...)
it caused some quadrupedal apes to evolve major changes in anatomy in
order to stand upright. That doesn't make us special, but the world
today has a whole lot more bipeds than quadruped apes. So, go figure.

: > I suppose it could be just dumb luck that primates became
: > bipedal/intelligent first (or should I write it the other way?)

Actually I kinda prefer the dumb luck hypothesis over some of the others
that have appeared in this newsgroup. Dumb luck causing intelligence?

: This is rubbish. The Miocene saw a proliferation of ape species. There are
: 185 modern primate species. What do you define as intelligent? The fossil
: record shows hominid phylogeny to have been respectably 'bushy' with
: several hominid species co-existing at any one time (well, at least from ~3
: mya to ~30 kya). The only hominid species, apart from the hominid
: immediately following the LCA, to have existed in solitude is H. sapiens.
: And even he has lived alongside other hominid species for most of his
: existence (500-200 kya to 30 kya).

One gauge of intelligence when comparing primates species would be the
ability to control one's environment. In that sense, humans have been
pretty successful comparatively speaking anyway. And often to the
detriment of other primate species (gorillas come to mind).