Re: Speciation - how do you know?

David Sierra (
Sun, 15 Sep 1996 20:30:59 -0500

On Sat, 14 Sep 1996, Paul Crowley wrote:


> > There is also good evidence that they did not use missile
> > weapons, but instead had a hunting style that involved closing with the
> > prey and fighting it out using a spear.
> How does a slow bipedal animal "close with" a fast quadruped?
> Really, none of us have a clue how H.n. got its food or why it had
> such a muscular build, but the theory that it regularly got close to
> large quadrupeds is just plain daft. Any bipedal hominid would get
> knocked over, trampled on and gored to death; and extra muscles
> would be little help.

I seem to remember a traditional type of hunt, particularly in western
Europe that involved "closing" with the animal in question, usually a
large wild boar [very nasty animal], goading it into charging and
"setting" a spear wereupon the creature in question would impale itself on the
spear and die fighting.

Supposedly this was quite the thing to do for young medival gentlemen to
do to prove their machoness (or stupidity!).

BTW, the spears in question had crosspieces about a fifth of the way down
from the point and were called "boar spears."

I think a reasonably inteligent group of H.n. armed with similar spears
(perhaps minus the crosspieces) would stand a very good chance against a
large, ferocious, tusked, etc. creature.

Just my $0.02 worth

David Sierra