Re: An alternative to ST and AAT

Phillip Bigelow (
Tue, 29 Oct 1996 17:58:28 +0800

Paul Crowley wrote:
> In article <> "Phillip Bigelow" writes:

> > How do you think chimpanzees and gorillas
> > came to be? At some point, one of their arboreal ancestor taxa
> > moved from a purely arboreal niche to one less so.
> This is probably true, but a lot depends on how far back it
> happened.

It depends on no such thing. The issue is whether it happened at all.

>I take the view that it could have been 20mya to 40mya;
> that there have long been largely terrestrial niches for primates;

There is no fossil evidence for terrestrial primates at 20-40mya.
Therefore, until this evidence shows up, a scientist assumes the

> that it is the largely terrestrial species that are more widely
> dispersed and are the most successful and most adaptable;

> that,
> owning to taphonic bias, terrestrial species are the least well
> represented in the fossil record and this has inevitably
> distorted PA thinking.

At least in the non-anthropoid animals, I know that the taphonomic bias
is even worse for arboreal creatures!
So what is your point?

> The primate species that adapted to the ground probably did it
> in the absence of competition. It would not have happened often.

Maybe...maybe not. Just speculation.

> > If it happened
> > with their ancestors, why not in the hominid clade as well?

> The niche would almost certainly have been already filled.