Re: Speciation - how do you know?

Stephen Barnard (
Sat, 14 Sep 1996 20:53:59 -0800

Paul Crowley wrote:
> In article <51bjle$>
> "HARRY R. ERWIN" writes:
> > The build of the average H. neanderthalensis male was off-scale relative
> > to H. sapiens.
> Take Arnold Swarchzneggar in his prime; add more muscle and bone;
> You can have 20 of them with wooden spears. I'll have one angry
> auroch cow. In less than an hour you'd have 20 dead or crippled
> "super-Swarchzneggars"; my auroch cow might have a few scratches,
> but even that's doubtful.
> > 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.
> > Finally, researchers have
> > discovered that the typical skeleton of a mature male has had a _number_
> > of very serious accidents (disabling injuries, broken bones, etc.) in its
> > lifetime.
> My own (less than 2 cents worth) opinion is the H.n.'s overall
> morphology was determined by climate and the muscularity within
> it came from intra-species competition (fighting with other H.n.)
> -- as did the broken bones.
> BTW how robust were H.n. females?
> Paul.

The Masi of Africa, who are quite gracile in build, have traditionally
killed lions with spears.

Steve Barnard