Re: Why is Homo sapiens hairless?

Susan S. Chin (
Tue, 19 Nov 1996 16:29:20 GMT

Barry Mennen ( wrote:
: In <> (Susan S. Chin)
: writes:
: >
: >Paul Crowley ( wrote:
: >: There is no evidence at all for scavenging. And how would they get
: >: to the kills before all the other predators?
: >
: >I believe the hypothesis put forth by Rob Blumenschine is that early
: >hominids were opportunistic scavengers, finding sources of protein and
: >fat in a part of the carcass the other predators and scavengers could
: not
: >get at: the marrow inside long bone shafts, which is rich in fat. In
: >order to access this marrow, early hominids would need to use simple
: >stone implements which could splinter the bone shaft... if the carcass
: is
: >relatively fresh, the marrow should be as well. This came from (and I
: am
: >rather reluctant to admit) one of the "Ancestors" NOVA installations.
: Anyone
: >have published citations of Blumenschine's research?
: >
: >Susan
: >

: Predators could not get to the marrow? Crushing bones is easy for
: hyenas, lions, etc. Talk about "just-so" stories...

: Barry

Without having read Blumenschines' research (and I assume you haven't
either), I can't say what his actual hard evidence is for this idea. I
would suspect that analysis of early African faunal assemblages would
have something to do with his conclusions, the patterns of bone fracture
(splintered spiraling fractures) and the predominance of this pattern
should have something to do with it.

Hyeanas crush and eat the bones of their prey... lions aren't scavengers.
So what other source of the bone pattern assemblages could have created
this? (I again qualify this by saying I haven't read any of the
literature on this published by Blumenschine, though I know it is out there)