Re: Savanna: a slow demise

David Froehlich (
Fri, 6 Oct 1995 11:33:03 -0500

On 5 Oct 1995, Thomas Clarke wrote:

> > What is in
> > dispute is the side trip into the aquatic environment proposed by the
> > AAH supporters and for which there is no evidence. A gap is not
> > evidence.
> That is news to me. I am not as well read as you in the PA area, but
> as far as I can tell there is a pretty large gap.

Here I disagree entirely. The functional gap is not large. Let us look
ant the closest living relatives, chimp=facultative biped,
gorilla=facultative biped, orangutan=facultative biped, gibbon=obligate
biped when terrestrial. What is the problem here?

> > Arboreal adaptations do indicate an arboreal lifestyle unless you have
> > EVIDENCE to indicate otherwise. It is not a stretch to note the
> > curvature of the hand bones in A. afarensis and the intermembrial
> > index and compare it w ith living arboreal apes.
> I really wish this could be more quantitative. How fast do selection
> factors straighten the hand bones? The bones don't straighten
> as soon as an environmental factor forces the animal to live away from
> the trees.

Yes, but can you put a phase for which there is no evidence between (ie AAS)

> (Regarding EVIDENCE, do you believe the sun will rise before it happens?:-)

It is a very!!!! well corroborated theory (it has always happened in
recorded memory and it is further corroborated by such well supported
scientific endevours (in the terms of Mr. Hubey) as physics.

David J. Froehlich Phone: 512-471-6088
Vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory Fax: 512-471-5973
J.J. Pickle Research Campus
The University of Texas, Austin, Texas 78712