"Home bases"... was Re: AAT Theory

J. Moore (j#d#.moore@canrem.com)
Mon, 2 Oct 95 11:59:00 -0500

Cf> >need to move from one grove to the other. As they were already capable
Cf> >of bipedal locomotion, they may have found this to be a good way of
Cf> >moving on the ground, especially if carrying things like infants or
Cf> food.
Cf> Where would they carry food too? There is no evidence of 'home
Cf> bases' where the females and infants stayed (they would be safer
Cf> travelling with the group, as chimps, and the infants (as above) were
Cf> sufficiently developed to tag along). Why would these chimps develop
Cf> food-sharing (which in other chimps only happens from mothers to
Cf> infants) when the rest of the group is already there?
Cf> --
Cf> -Clara A. N. Fitzgerald cfitzger@s.psych.uiuc.edu

The rest of the group is not "already there", even in chimps.
Chimp groups tend to break up and get together many times during a
typical day; they aren't just hanging around in a gang all day.
Early hominids no doubt acted similarly. Chimps and bonobos do
share food, although certainly the primary avenue for such sharing
is between mothers and infants. Generally shared foods are hard
to get items like meat (sharing there in chimps at least is better
termed "tolerated scrounging or begging") or become, like
grooming in chimps and in baboons, acts of friendship which
often develop into increased opportunity for sex.

The concept of "home bases" tends to bring to mind a far too
modern conception of the term, as if it were a structured camp of
some sort. (And forget the "leaving the females and infants
behind", ala Owen Lovejoy -- his concept of early hominid behavior
is ludicrous, proving he should stick to describing bones and
mechanics, which he does quite well.)

The sorts of places one would expect early hominids to carry
things to would be, for instance, to take food to a shady or more
comfortable spot, or perhaps a safer place to eat -- trees, perhaps,
or perhaps just nearer other members of the larger group. Such
places of preference, as seen in chimps' behavior, would be what
very early "home bases" were.

Jim Moore (j#d#.moore@canrem.com)

* Q-Blue 2.0 *