Re: chimps on the savanna? Nooooo.....

Paul Crowley (
Sun, 22 Oct 95 11:02:20 GMT

In article <46cbav$> "David L Burkhead " writes:

> There's no particular reason of which I am aware that the species we
> call "chimps" has been around any longer than homo sapiens, let alone
> as long as genus homo or australopithecus.

This is an important topic because it affects the way we think about
the CA. We have a fair amount of evidence about chimps: we know a
lot about the existing species and can make some firm conclusions
from DNA analysis, even if the fossil record is almost non-existent.

It's agreed that they split off from the CA about 6mya. The question
is "have they changed much since?". I believe that, in the absence
of evidence to the contrary, the most parsimonious conclusion is that
they have not. There has been no significant change in their habitat.
The predators, competitors, food sources, and all other factors appear
to be almost identical. Two important adaptions were the development
of their avoidance of night predation by building nests in trees and
knuckle-walking. However they share these with gorillas, which split
from their CA at around 7mya. Their most distinctive differences from
gorillas are their group behaviour and their more generalised diet.
Since these are what make the species viable, surely it is parsimonious
to conclude that they were present in a similar form at the time of
speciation and that there have been no significant changes in behaviour
or morphology since that time?

Alternatively, can anyone suggest likely adaptions during the last