Re: Speciation - how do you know?

Nick Maclaren (
12 Sep 1996 09:18:36 GMT

In article <>, (Paul Crowley) writes:
|> In article <5140cp$>
|> "HARRY R. ERWIN" writes:
|> > H. neanderthalensis had a number of skeletal specializations
|> > for close-in combat with large mammals . .
|> This is sheer fantasy. Combat with aurochs? Or with any large
|> quadruped? If this was how it normally got a significant proportion
|> of its food the life expectation of the average H.n. would be very
|> short.

But why should it be for food gathering? African buffalos have a
large number of skeletal specialisations for close combat with
large predators, but get a negligible proportion of their food by
hunting them :-)

You should probably have said "speculation" rather than "fantasy".
It isn't an implausible explanation of the features, after all.

Nick Maclaren,
University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory,
New Museums Site, Pembroke Street, Cambridge CB2 3QG, England.
Tel.: +44 1223 334761 Fax: +44 1223 334679