Re: Need up-to-date book on human evolution

Thomas Clarke (
13 Oct 1995 13:07:49 GMT

In article <45ja7h$>
(Jim Foley) writes:

> Ian Tattersall's "The Fossil Trail" is a good book, and about as recent
> as it gets (1995).

It is a good book!

> There is a new theory of human evolution which proposes that before
> humans became full-fledged hunters, they passed through a phase in which
> they used bad breath to stun their prey. This is known either as the
> DBT (the dog-breath theory), or the AAT (aromatic ape theory). We
> haven't found the fossil evidence yet, but that's to be expected.

The DBT has been eliminated from serious consideration because the
soft tissue structures have are not found that would be expected.
Parallel evolution would lead one to expect structure like the gland
in the skunk, or the jet in a stinkbug.
Some writers have argued that the underarm structures
support the DBT (this variant is sometimes called the bad aroma notion, BAN),
but similar structures are found in Pongids so they cannot be used to
support bad breath (or BAN) as the selection factor for hominid development.
A more radical fringe has placed an odor nexus lower in the body and
has argued that the need to distance the organs of smell from this
nexus is what made the miocene apes decide to become bipedal.

Tom Clarke