Re: Hominid Altitudinal-Latitudinal Adaptations

Rohinton Collins (
29 Oct 1996 17:12:26 GMT

CHESSONP <> wrote in article

> Why would a creature with a perfectly good coat of hair (or fur) decide
> invent clothing? This theory should be called the "Fashion Ape Theory"
> FAT.

You fail to follow my logic. A hominid who has discarded skins lying around
as a result of kills or scavenging would be likely to take advantage of the
protection they give against harsh weather and the environment (ever come
off a motorbike without protective clothing? Don't reply to this one ;-) ).
A clothed hominid would be better off, both in terms of individual survival
and genetic success. Once clothes have become cultural, selection will
favour a less hairy hominid, since it takes energy to grow hair, energy
which would be better spent increasing the hominid's reproductive success
(thus increasing the incidence of the hominid's genes - including those for
less body hair - in the gene pool). This isn't of course the only factor,
as I stated, increased efficiency in heat loss due to sweating would also
favour selection for a less hairy hominid. There may have been other
selection pressures. Anyway, as you know, the selection pressure needn't be
very large in order to cause a large phenotypic change in a large number of