Re: AAT Theory

Troy Kelley (
Mon, 2 Oct 1995 13:56:40 GMT

Subject: Re: AAT Theory
From: David L Burkhead,
Date: 2 Oct 1995 11:52:23 GMT
In article <44ojpo$> David L Burkhead, writes:
>In article <>
>(H. M. Hubey) writes:
>> (David L Burkhead ) writes:
>>>comparison to humans), yet strangely they are able to deal with
>>>predators. Chimpanzees don't _have_ to run from predators. From what
>>Yeah, they can scare off a lone cheetah probably.
> Actually, they didn't "scare off" the predator--they _drove_ it
>off. The cat's choice was flee or die. It wasn't a cheetah, BTW, but
>a leopard, which just happened to be the primary predator in that
>habitat. If they could deal with it, they could deal with anything
>else they were likely to encounter.

Well.. that is if they actually "encounter" it.. or in other words
see it before it sees them. The leopard as everyone knows, is a very
stealthy predator and uses the element of surprise before it attacks
some prey. Once it is discovered, its chances of making a successful
kill diminish greatly, no matter what the animal is.

> Probably not since chimpanzees and lions don't generally share
>habitat. Chimpanzees prefer a more wooded environ; lions, a more
>David L. Burkhead

I actually think that one reason for the decline of the chimpanzee,
besidesthe obvious problems which man has created (which pertain to every
animal) isbecause they are such vulnerable animals. If they were better
able to defend
themselves then they would be able to move into different, and perhaps
morehostile environment, one which includes lions. Instead, they have to
livein an environment that is relatively safe, where their only major
threat being the
leapord. And actually, the leapord likes to hunt in a semi-wooded
environmentwhere it can actually run down its prey. In other words, it is
not going to chase a chimp through the tree tops for a meal.

I think early man was extremely vulneralble as well. Early hominids had
tolook for any advantage which would offer some degree of protection.
Thisis were I think AAT really has some advantages. I know Jim, you are
goingto chime in here about crocodiles, and perhaps you have a point. I
what you are tryint to say is that AAT must have happened in a place
where there were no crocs, which would be either a) seashore or b)
mountain lakes or c) both. I think we have established that crocs aren't
going to climb up a mountain sideto a lake, and they are not designed to
withstand the pounding of wave action from surf.

The seashore and vulnerability issues almost lead me to the notions
shared bysome AATers that perhaps some of hominid evolution occured on an
African costal island. This isolation could have provided the protection
we needed while we
made the difficult physical changes to bipedialism.
Sorry I don't have any references here, but I do remember these ideas
were discussed in the great book "Aquatic Ape: Fact or Fiction".