Re: An alternative to ST and AAT

Phil Nicholls (
Sun, 17 Nov 1996 23:10:19 GMT (Paul Crowley) wrote:

>In article <561muk$>
> "Gerrit Hanenburg" writes:
>> (Paul Crowley) wrote:
>> >This raises a very interesting point. For some 2.5 million years
>> >(until about 2.5 mya) hominids could not stride and probably could
>> >not run; if they could, they certainly did not do it well. The
>> >australopithecines had short legs, long arms and no waist.
>> Australopithecines,as represented by "Lucy" (AL 288-1),did not have
>> long arms. The "intermediate" humerofemoral index (85) is the result
>> of a relatively short hindlimb.
>Lucy did have long arms. The A. afarensis humerus was about the
>same length as in both H.s.s. and chimps. But the humero-femoral
>index is misleading as the difference in arm length comes from the
>ulna; and the male A.afarensis ulna is almost the length of the
>male chimp's -- much longer than in H.s.s.

Well now that is very interesting. I would like to know where you
got your information. Everything I have read about postcranial
morphology of A. afarensis indicates that there is only one good ulna
from the plio-pleistocene -- one from the Omo basin associated with
Paranthropus boisei. Everything else is too fragmentary.

>The H/F index is also misleading in that it ignores body size.

The H/F index is used as an indicator of forelimb dominance in

>Australo total leg
>length was much too small in relation to body size for what we
>would regard as effective bipedalism. Also they had relatively
>large feet. IOW, Lucy waddled.

Well, what can I say. Your entitled to your opinion but it doesn't
seem to be based on anything more than your eyeballing of pictures in
books. Everyone -- EVERYONE who has studied A. afarensis
postcranial morphology and all of the biomechanical studies that I
have seen have concluded just the opposite of what you seem to

How do you explain that, Paul?

Phil Nicholls
"To ask a question, you must first know
most of the answer." Robert Sheckley