Re: Ape/Pre-Civilization-Human Diets

Patrick H. Adkins (
Tue, 04 Jul 1995 00:05:45 GMT

stgprao@sugarland.unocal.COM (Richard Ottolini) wrote:

>>Well, this has been very well documented by the three "Leaky Ladies"
>>and their colleages. The big surprise was kind of the opposite one
>>reads in "Tarzan"- gorillas are pretty much vegetarians while chimpanzees
>>are pretty agressive hunters and eat lots of meat.

Just how is this the opposite of what one reads in the Tarzan stories,
sir? Please cite your references! <g>

Tarzan's mangani are clearly portrayed as omniverous; just read any
description of their dum-dum. As to gorillas, and I don't think there
is a single indisputable instance of a meat-eating bolgani in any of
the twenty-five volumes.

Actually, it is my contention that Edgar Rice Burroughs was generally
more right in his depiction of Tarzan's apes than most of the
zoologists of his day--meat-eating anthropoids that communicate in a
rudimentary language, wage fierce battles at times, have emotions and
desires recognizably similar to our own, etc.

On a slightly more serious note, I wonder how many biologists and
anthropologists were influenced in their career choices by Burroughs'
adventure stories. Jane Goodall was, and has credited him many times
for her interest in animals. Carl Sagan suggested that Burroughs may
well be the most influential writer of the century, citing the
numerous astronomers and other scientists he knew who were strongly
influenced by his science fiction novels.


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