Re: Becoming altricial/bipedal

Paul Crowley (
Mon, 09 Oct 95 12:58:04 GMT

In article <4599em$> "Alex Duncan" writes:

> In article <> Paul Crowley,
> writes:

> > b) that bipedalism, _on_its_own_, requires a degree of
> > maternal care for the hominid infant which is quite different
> > and far in excess of that needed by the pre-bipedal infant?
> Absolutely not. See references posted in "tree-climbing homininds."

Until I get to them, and for the benefit of everyone, please tell us
how the bipedal mother looked after her infant. Did she carry it
*everywhere* like the chimp? Did she put it down? Please state how
the mother/infant pair would compare with a chimp mother/infant pair
in the activities of (a) fast locomotion ("running") (b) slow
locomotion ("walking") (c) obtaining 20-foot high fruit from trees
(d) catching a small monkey (e) foraging for small fish in a stream.

Is the territory exploited similar to that inhabited by chimps? If not
please indicate the nature of the territory and the special adaptions
these hominids would have had for exploiting it.

If the territory overlaps with that of chimps, please tell us what
advantages the hominid mother/infant pair would have over the chimp
mother/infant pair which would enable it to successfully compete.

> > c) that when bipedalism was first established the mother/infant
> > pair could not have normally slept in the trees?
> Absolutely not.

Please tell us how the hominid mother would climb trees with, say,
a wriggling 9-month old? Might she also have to look after a 2
year-old and a 4 year-old at the same time? Please suggest a
possible arrangement whereby she, her infant and her other children
could get a comfortable and *safe* night's sleep - every night.

A report on a field experiment would be useful. If you haven't got
suitable children yourself, I'm sure colleagues will be happy to
lend you theirs in the interests of Pure Science. You could get a
major article into a learned journal. Or has it been done before?
Are you going to quote me a description of a famous experiment of
which, in my utter and shameful ignorance, I am completely unaware?