Re: Human Evolution and Obesity

J.E.Hawcroft (
10 Oct 1995 12:27:35 GMT

You can tell from fossilised bones whether an ape or person was "brawny"
as you put it - big muscles make big muscle insertion marks. If you had a
skeleton with very small muscle markings (suggesting weedy musculature)
but that skeleton showed evidence of weight stress on the pelvis, you
might say that this meant the person was fat - but this would be
conjectural. Otherwise as far as I'm aware there aren't any ways of
telling whether a person was fat via their skeleton.
I can't remember ever having seen a fat chimp, even in captivity where
resources are reliable. However male orangs do get enormously fat. How on
earth do they support their weight when swinging through the trees?