Re: lions, chimps and sticks

H. M. Hubey (
11 Oct 1995 22:56:58 -0400

rtravsky@UWYO.EDU (Rich Travsky) writes:

>>2) how many lbs can chimps curl?
>>3) how many lbs can they press?

>Irrelevant. A better measure is how hard can a chimp hit you.

I assumed that measuring strength in the muscles directly involved
in the arm is measuring "hardness of hit", and it is. How hard
can a chimp can hit, other than being vaguely defined, is a more
complex (and probably increasing) function of strength. Hardness
on the other hand is measured (on the Rockwell or Brinell scale)
and I don't think you mean either. You probably want to use
maximum velocity generated or something like it.

>You use human standards (i.e., the sport of weight lifting) that
>don't cross species well.

What you're suggesting seems impossible to measure let alone

What do you propose to measure to define "how hard a chimp can
hit" ?

>>I bet they're piss poor throwers. They won't stand a chance.
>Zoo patrons have learned that primates can be quite accurate
>in throwing things.

I'd try measuring them against humans. I think they're worse.
And if I can't keep lions at bay throwing rocks neither
could chimps. An animal with the intelligence of a lion or
a hyena would have to learn fear of rocks or sticks before
it can comprehend what threats with those objects mean. Being
whacked with a hoof probably doesn't deter them from chasing
the various ungulates so why should getting whacked with
a stray rock or stick deter them. Proto-humans would have
made ideal and quite easy pickings.

>The throwing of bric-brac alone is probably not sufficient in and
>of itself. Accompanied by screaming and arm waving etc and you
>have a much more effective display.

I'd still like to test these "effective displays" somehow but
I doubt that anyone would actually try it. I'd think that the
results would be too obvious. Chimps would lose out in the
plains very quickly.


Regards, Mark