Re: tree-climbing hominids

Alex Duncan (
16 Oct 1995 01:10:39 GMT

In article <> Paul Crowley, writes:

>> > I presume you accept that there were major disadvantages in becoming
>> > bipedal: i.e. the mother had to use one or both arms to carry her
>> > child everywhere she went, meaning that she could not run, climb,
>> > use a club, or throw rocks when in the presence of a predator, nor
>> > could she sleep in a tree at night. In fact the viability of her
>> > existence is questionable.

intervening argument snipped
>Hominid mothers cannot do those things now. Primate (hominoid) ancestor
>mothers could. The change happened in connection with bipedalism. (I'd
>prefer to define the change *as* the acquisition of bipedalism, but that's
>not quite the same point.) What else makes any possible sense?

Paraphrase Crowley: the viability of a species of bipeds whose females
cannot run, climb, use a club, throw rocks or sleep in trees is

Well, let's (for the moment) assume that a female hominid carrying an
infant really can't do anything else -- how on earth do humans survive?
And somehow we manage it w/out recourse to the aquatic environment. And
not just modern, industrial humans either -- but "pre-literate" societies
such as the !Kung manage to survive despite the fact that females are
"crippled" by bipedalism.

I'm happy that the way the universe works isn't limited by Crowley's

Alex Duncan
Dept. of Anthropology
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX 78712-1086