Re: Body Hair Loss in Aquatic Mammals

Phil Nicholls (
Fri, 27 Oct 1995 18:21:14 GMT (Thomas Clarke) graced us with the following

>In article <> (H. M. Hubey) writes:

>> "riverine
>>savannah", "savannah ocean interface"... :-)..

>Those sound about right for an environment to turn miocene apes into


>< Regarding baboons>

>>So are they too stupid to realize that standing upright will
>>cool them down or not? Can they feel themselves cool down
>>or not? If not where is the savings in heat expulsion? If
>>they can feel themselves cool down, then why shouldn't they
>>have become more bipedal? Hell, they still got their fur?

>I pretty much agree, but you must phrase this properly if you
>want your opponents to listen.
>How about?

>Those baboons with behavior that included standing upright would
>have less heat buildup, therefore they would be more successful
>and have more offspring leading to more baboons with standing
>behavior. A similar argument can be applied to the loss of hair.

Rhesus monkeys living on Cayo Santiago have been observed to stand up
more often on hot days. However, Rhesus monkeys and baboons are very
specialized quadrupeds and have not shared a common ancestor with
humans for at least 40 million years.

The common ancestor was most likely an arboreal ape. It may even have
be an obligatory biped when on the ground in much the same way as
gibbons and spider monkeys are today. It may also just have been a
very generalized ape. Quantitative measurements have shown that
bipedal walking and quadrupedal walking use about the same amount of
energy in chimpanzees. This is NOT true of baboons.

References are available if you want them.

>>So if the savannah did it, there must have been some
>>special mechanism? What was it? Did the lions step on
>>their tails?

>Yes why did only the Australopithecus line become bipedal
>if all it takes is an ape and savannah or a mosaic savannah?

>Tom Clarke

Phil Nicholls
"To ask a question you must first know most of the answer"
-Robert Sheckley