Re: Hominid Altitudinal-Latitudinal Adaptations

Paul Crowley (
Sat, 26 Oct 96 20:03:42 GMT

In article <> "Phillip Bigelow" writes:

> Paul Crowley wrote:
> > Hominids have been naked for a sigificant period of time.
> Sorry to be such a but-insky with this pesky little question, but
> I have to ask this: EVIDENCE, Paul? EVIDENCE?

I was careful to say "significant" (or try to say it). Since the
whole of Hss is naked we're quite safe in concluding that it has
been a feature of the species for some 60 Kyr, at least.

It's an adaptation that would appear to go with sweating. That,
in turn, was probably closely related to the whole lifestyle of
the species, although it could mainly be connected with an increase
in brain size. In any case, hominid morphology does not appear
to have changed in any significant respect since early H.erectus.
The trend in dentition has been continuous since A.afarensis.

Since nakedness is such a remarkable adaptation, it probably
indicates a radical change in niche, and it is unlikely that it
could have been adopted without other major changes. That is
one reason why I prefer to date it back to the speciation of the
hominid line. You may want to associate it with later
developments, but you can hardly put it within the last 2 Myr.

We obviously don't have a lot of evidence. But we can draw some
reasonable conclusions from what we have.