Re: Becoming altricial/bi

Troy Kelley (
Fri, 6 Oct 1995 12:51:12 GMT

Subject: Re: Becoming altricial/bi
From: J. Moore,
Date: Thu, 5 Oct 95 15:24:00 -0500
In article <> J. Moore, writes:
>JM>> You mention the "enigma" of "swimming human infants". This is a
>JM>> hoary chestnut indeed which has been used for quite some time by
>JM>> many AATers. The reference they give is "M. McGraw, Journal of
>JM>> Pediatrics, 1939:485-490.", and they do give the reference, so one
>JM>> can assume they've read it and know what it says. They always
>JM>> seem to mention the human infants and how their movements are
>JM>> usually "rhythmical and organized" and are "ordinarily sufficiently
>JM>> forceful to propel the baby a short distance through the water".
>JM>> They don't seem to ever mention the fact that the same study
>JM>> looked at other mammalian infants (opposum, rat, kitten, rabbit,
>JM>> guinea pig, and rhesus monkey) and found that they behaved the
>JM>> same way: "these rhythmical movements of the human infant are
>JM>> quite similar to those of other young quadrupeds in water".
>JM>> (Note that an older chimpanzee was also tested and, just like
>JM>> older human infants, was inactive when placed in the water. Note
>JM>> too that this study found that "at no time did any baby show
>JM>> himself capable of raising his head above the water level for the
>JM>> purpose of breathing". So what we really find here is not so much
>JM>> "swimming" as infant mammals slowly drowning without a struggle.)

I must admit Jim I have never read the article. I have gone to our local,
albeit tiny library, and looked for the article and never found it. This
information is very surprising to me. And, I must admit my foundations in
AAT are a bit shaken.

Jim, you seem willing to post lengthy articles. Would you mind posting
that article? Or if not, sending it to me ( If you
want, send me some personal e-mail, and I will give you a fax number to
send it to.

If the article is like you say, I will have to rethink some of this AAT