David Attenborough & AAT

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Marc Verhaegen

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Dec 26, 2002, 7:06:30 AM12/26/02
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From the AAT discussion group:

Father Christmas very kindly brought me David Attenborough's new book 'The
Life of Mammals' (based on the new BBC TV series), and there are a couple of
passages of interest (sorry if this has been mentioned before).


The first relates to Mario's otters' fur and salt: [Start quote] "In
Scotland, some otters live along the coast and regularly hunt in the sea.
This causes them an dditional though minor problem. If the sea water dries
on their fur, the salt clogs their sweat glands, so when they return to land
after a fishing trip, they usually wash temselves in the fresh-water that
accumulates in small pools in the peat bogs. "One species of otter,
however, spends all its life at sea. It lives all along the west coast of
North America from Alaska to California and it has taken its adaptations for
water-living several steps further. Sea otters have the thickest fur of any
species in the family. Indeed, it is the thickest fur produced by any
mammal, with a million filaments to the square inch. All the hairs on a
human being's head number only about a tenth as many. To exploit the
insulating potential of this fur to the full, sea otters spend time each day
lying on the surface of the sea, blowing into their under-fur to ensure that
it is always fully topped up with air. Their skin fits so loosely around
their body that they can pull almost every part of it within reach of their
mouths. Even so, living permanently in water saps a great deal of heat from
an otter's body and it has to eat prodigiously in order to remain warm.
Every day it consumes about a third of its own body weight. It is as if a
human being, in order not to starve, has to eat a hundred hamburgers daily.
" [...] Even the major step of giving birth at sea has been achieved without
substantial physical changes. The new-born babies cannot swim until they are
about ten weeks old, but this causes them few problems. They are so fat and
their fur is so woolly that they are naturally buoyant and when they are not
lying on their mother's stomach drinking her milk, they loll about quite
happily among the floating kelp straps." [End quote] Which all seems
to confirm what Mario has been saying very nicely.

The second passage relates to bipedalism and the AAT: [Start quote]
"There are few more contentious issues in the story of humanity's evolution
than the explanation of what it was that caused four-footed knuckle-walking
to be abandoned in favour of a two-footed stride. There are several
theories. Maybe it was to allow our ancestors to carry things in their
hands - food that they had just collected, a simple stone tool that had
taken some time and skill to chip into effective shape, or maybe an infant
that lacked the clasping hands and feet needed to cling to its mother like a
baby ape. Maybe it was to get a clearer view over grass-covered plains to
spot a stalking carnivore. Maybe, if the climate was as hot as some believe,
it was to minimise the amount of the body exposed directly to the sun out on
the open plains - just the shoulders and the top of the head, instead of the
whole length of the torso.
"There is yet another theory that was first proposed half a century ago and
is often dismissed by many as far-fetched. Nonetheless it still has its
adherents. Some six million years ago, this part of Africa was rent apart by
earth movements associated with the formation of the Rift Valley. Sea water
poured in from the Red Sea away to the north. Isolated patches of higher
ground turned into islands and great areas became shallow lagoons. If that
happened, then there would undoubtedly be a great deal of food to be
collected on the margins andin the shallows of such lagoons - shellfish,
crustaceans, small fish. Intelligent inquisitive primates would surely have
been quick to exploit such a new and rich food supply. Doubtless those early
hominoids would have soon discovered a way to crack open molluscs and tear
apart crustaceans just as capuchins and crab-eating macaques do today. Maybe
some went into deeper water to look for food or to reach new feeding grounds
on the shores of nearby islets. If they did, an upright stance would have
brought them great advantages, not the least of which was that it enabled a
female to carry her baby above the water. "A vivid picture of such a
scene in reality comes from some islands in the delta of the Congo. There
chimps that have been individually rescued from lives of deprived captivity
have been released in order that they may learn to fend for themselves in
the wild before they are given total liberty. While they are doing so, they
are provided with daily supplies of bananas. As the boats of those caring
for them approach every morning, the chimps wade out towards them
two-footedly, anxious for their bananas. The males sometimes hold their long
arms above their heads, with hands clasped. Females come too holding their
infants high on their chests. With the water supporting their body and
helping their balance, an upright stance comes easily to them and with their
shorter bowed ape-legs hidden by the water they look extraordinarily human,
except for their jutting jaws and low receding foreheads with heavy
eyebrow-ridges. In fact they look uncannily, eerily, like the many
reconstructions that have been made over the years of creatures that might
have been the link between apes and humanity. As these chimpanzees have
become more accustomed to their new, if temporary, homes, they have become
more confident in the water. It is usually said that chimps do not swim.
Perhaps that is the case in normal circumstances, but one at least of these
males has shown that if there is a need to do so, they certainly can. He has
now started to swim out, way beyond his depth to get to the food-carrying
boat first. "Could living near and occasionally in water have been the
circumstance which led mankind's ancestors to move from knuckle-walking to
full bipedalism? Proponents of the theory invoke several pieces of
anatomical evidence to suggest that humanity did indeed have an amphibious
phase. Human beings, compared to chimps and orangs, have next to no body
hair. Why did they lose it? In water, hair is a relatively ineffective
insulator. In consequence, many water-living mammals - seals, whales,
hippos - have lost theirs. Hair runs in tracts that form runnels down which
water trickles away. The tracts on the body of a four-footed animal run down
at right angles to its spine, across its flanks to its belly. Our hair
tracts, such as they are, however, are different. Instead of running roughly
parallel to our ribs, they run at right angles to them, down from our
shoulders parallel to our spine, suggesting that we were already standing
upright when our bodies were just as hairy as that of a chimpanzee. Our skin
differs from that of all other living apes in another way. It has abundant
sweat glands that produce an oily secretion. That too is an adaptation that
could be very valuable for a creature that lived in and out of water.
Particularly persuasive is the fact that when we develop fat, we accumulate
it in a layer immediately beneath our skin. The only other mammals that
develop subcutaneous layers of fat in this way are seals and whales - and
they do so to insulate themselves from the chilling water. If our ancestors
had spent a significant amount of time in the water, such a fat layer would
have been very valuable. "If that crucial shift in posture did indeed
happen when our remote ancestors were living in and around lagoons, it would
also help to explain how another important change occurred at this time - a
huge increase in the size of our ancestors' brains. Developing and operating
a brain takes a lot of energy. Fruits, seeds, roots and other vegetation are
sufficient to fuel ape-sized brains. We, however, have gigantic brains, by
far the largest in proportion to the size of our bodies of any species of
mammal. Keeping them functioning consumes 20% of all the energy that we get
from our food, even though our brain accounts for only 2% of our body
weight. Evolving a large brain could only have happened among creatures that
had an abundant supply of rich food. Shellfish would have provided exactly
that." [End quote]

Attenborough doesn't actually say that he endorses the AAT, but then he
doesn't have to. A few lines on some of the many conventional theories on
bipedalism, liberally sprinkled with 'maybe's, as against two pages or so on
AAT, plus a nice photo of a bipedal chimp in waist-deep water. We could
quibble over some of his details, but it is nice to see this in a book that
will sell millions of copies. Let's hope the appropriate section of the TV
program doesn't fudge the issue. --
Pauline Ross

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Mario Petrinovic

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Dec 26, 2002, 10:09:20 AM12/26/02
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"Marc Verhaegen" <fa20...@skynet.be> wrote in message
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> In water, hair is a relatively ineffective
> insulator. In consequence, many water-living mammals - seals, whales,
> hippos - have lost theirs.

Did I hear "seals"? -- Mario


Marc Verhaegen

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Dec 26, 2002, 4:13:13 PM12/26/02
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"Mario Petrinovic" <mario.pe...@zg.tel.hr> wrote in message
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> > In water, hair is a relatively ineffective insulator. In consequence,
many water-living mammals - seals, whales, hippos - have lost theirs.

> Did I hear "seals"? -- Mario

Yes, fur is rel.ineffective in water: it's compressed the deeper you dive,
and you have to groom it . Seals need a fur fot outside the water: on land
or on ice.

Marc


Mario Petrinovic

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Dec 26, 2002, 6:39:27 PM12/26/02
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"Marc Verhaegen" <fa20...@skynet.be> wrote in message
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But it looks like he said that seals lost hair just like whales and
hippos did. To be honest, it never looked to me like some seals have much of
hair. True seals (which are living circumpolarly) have a lot of blubber and
sparse hair. Mediterranean monk seal (wnich lives close to equator) has the
least hair of all (AFAIK). -- Mario


Marc Verhaegen

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Dec 27, 2002, 10:20:45 AM12/27/02
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"Mario Petrinovic" <mario.pe...@zg.tel.hr> wrote in message
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> > > > In water, hair is a relatively ineffective insulator. In
consequence, many water-living mammals - seals, whales, hippos - have lost
theirs.

> > > Did I hear "seals"? -- Mario

> > Yes, fur is rel.ineffective in water: it's compressed the deeper you

dive, and you have to groom it. Seals need a fur fot outside the water: on


land or on ice. Marc

> But it looks like he said that seals lost hair just like whales and hippos
did. To be honest, it never looked to me like some seals have much of hair.
True seals (which are living circumpolarly) have a lot of blubber and sparse
hair. Mediterranean monk seal (wnich lives close to equator) has the least
hair of all (AFAIK). -- Mario

Sorry, Mario, I was absent-minded, yes, you're right: Attenborough is wrong
here of course: only elephant seals lack fur, and if he meant "pinnipeds",
only some very large pinnipeds lack fur: apart from elephant seals, only
male adult Steller's sealions & walruses, but these are no true seals. He
must have meant seacows? All fully aquatic mammals (=Sirenia+Cetacea) are
furless. In cold regions, very large semi-aquatics (>500-1000 kg) are
furless. In tropical regions, the medium-sized (>20-50 kg) semi-aquatics are
furless (eg, pygmy hippos, babirusas) but also some medium-sized
non-aquatics that spend a lot of time in burrows can be very sparsely-haired
(aardvarks, wrat hogs, hunting-dogs) & some very large non-burrowing
terrestrials are furless (all elephant species, most rhino species, but not,
eg, giraffes). Of small species, only fully fossorial ones are furless
(naked molerats). The negative connection with burrowing & water suggests
friction is correlated with furlessness. This is also seen in humans
(clothing).

Marc Verhaegen
http://www.onelist.com/community/AAT
http://allserv.rug.ac.be/~mvaneech/Verhaegen.html


Marc Verhaegen

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Dec 27, 2002, 11:43:24 AM12/27/02
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"Marc Verhaegen" <fa20...@skynet.be> wrote in message
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> ... David Attenborough's new book 'The Life of Mammals' (based on the new
BBC TV series), ... The second passage relates to bipedalism and the AAT:


[Start quote] "There are few more contentious issues in the story of
humanity's evolution than the explanation of what it was that caused
four-footed knuckle-walking to be abandoned in favour of a two-footed
stride. There are several theories. Maybe it was to allow our ancestors to
carry things in their hands - food that they had just collected, a simple
stone tool that had taken some time and skill to chip into effective shape

Unlikely: the most tool-using & tool-making mammals are quadrupeds: sea
otters, capuchin monkeys.

> , or maybe an infant that lacked the clasping hands and feet needed to
cling to its mother like a baby ape. Maybe it was to get a clearer view over
grass-covered plains to spot a stalking carnivore.

Extremely unlikely: the carnivore will spot you more easily. If you want to
spot predators it's enough when you only now & then stand on 2 legs (cf.
Suricata).

> Maybe, if the climate was as hot as some believe, it was to minimise the
amount of the body exposed directly to the sun out on the open plains - just
the shoulders and the top of the head, instead of the whole length of the
torso.

Even more unlikely: if that were true, a lot of mammals would have run
bipedally. Besides it only works at midday.

> "There is yet another theory that was first proposed half a century ago
and is often dismissed by many as far-fetched.

Dismissed only by those who have themselves extremely far-fetched ideas of
human evolution.

> ... "Could living near and occasionally in water have been the


circumstance which led mankind's ancestors to move from knuckle-walking to
full bipedalism?

?? Knuckle-walking is recent: it's only seen in extant gorillas & chimps.
Fossil African hominids ca.4-2 Ma (Lucy, anamensis, boisei) had partial
knuckle-walking features. IOW, it's more likely the other way round:
knuckle-walking evolved from some sort of bipedalism (eg, as seen in the
bipedal+climbing short-legged apiths).

> Proponents of the theory invoke several pieces of anatomical evidence to
suggest that humanity did indeed have an amphibious phase. Human beings,
compared to chimps and orangs, have next to no body hair. Why did they lose
it? In water, hair is a relatively ineffective insulator. In consequence,
many water-living mammals - seals, whales, hippos - have lost theirs.

As Mario said, this is wrong: most seals have fur. Perhaps Attenborough
meant "seacows, whales, hippos"?

> Hair runs in tracts that form runnels down which water trickles away. The
tracts on the body of a four-footed animal run down at right angles to its
spine, across its flanks to its belly. Our hair tracts, such as they are,
however, are different. Instead of running roughly parallel to our ribs,
they run at right angles to them, down from our shoulders parallel to our
spine, suggesting that we were already standing upright when our bodies were
just as hairy as that of a chimpanzee. Our skin differs from that of all
other living apes in another way. It has abundant sweat glands that produce

an oily secretion ...

?? I thought eccrine sweating is rather watery. Not oily at all AFAIK?

Curious Amateur

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Dec 28, 2002, 9:53:39 AM12/28/02
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In article <3e0c6fea$0$29631$ba62...@news.skynet.be>, "Marc Verhaegen" <fa20...@skynet.be> wrote:
>
snip

>All fully aquatic mammals (=Sirenia+Cetacea) are
>furless.

Incorrect:

Otariidae - Northern Fur Seal, Stellar Sea Lion, and California Sea Lion
Phocidae - Habor Seal, Ringed Seal, Gray Seal, Harp Seal, Bearded Seal,Hooded
Seal. (don't confuse short fur with no fur).

>In cold regions, very large semi-aquatics (>500-1000 kg) are
>furless.

Incorrect:

Ursus - Polar Bear.

In tropical regions, the medium-sized (>20-50 kg) semi-aquatics are
>furless (eg, pygmy hippos, babirusas) but also some medium-sized
>non-aquatics that spend a lot of time in burrows can be very sparsely-haired
>(aardvarks, wrat hogs, hunting-dogs)

Marc, how much time must be spent in a burrow to fit this description? And
neither hunting dogs nor wart hogs are "sparsely-haired", they're
short-haired, not 'no-haired'.

>& some very large non-burrowing
>terrestrials are furless (all elephant species, most rhino species, but not,
>eg, giraffes). Of small species, only fully fossorial ones are furless
>(naked molerats). The negative connection with burrowing & water suggests
>friction is correlated with furlessness. This is also seen in humans
>(clothing).

Marc, burrowing is not responsible for furlessness. Examine Rodentia which
probably includes the largest number of burrowing species. You could add
members of the weasel family as well, several of whom routinely hunt their
prey in burrows (spending more time in them than wart hogs and hunting dogs)..
You could also add members from Insectivora and Lagomorpha to this list.

Seems to me you don't get into true hairlessness when it comes to
Sirenia till you hit a rather large size:
Walrus - 2000+lbs
Northern Elephant Seal - 8000+lbs

Delphinidae is virtually hairless and comes in sizes that are comparable to
our own, but its form is so advanced along the line of aquatic development as
to make it hard to compare with humans.

Consider that Otariidae, the most recent of the Pinnipeds to go aquatic, are
furred. Phocidae is furred. To find un-furred pinnipeds you have to achieve a
body weight over 2000 pounds. To find un-furred fully aquatic species in our
weight category you have to look at the extreme aquatic developments in
Cetaceans.

In other words, Marc, nature does not give you a readily comparable example of
what you think happened to humans. All the more recent aquatic adaptations
(Pinnipeds beneath 2000 pounds) are furry, and all of them show far more
adaptation to an aquatic environment than humans. All of the hairless aquatic
mammals (Cetaceans and really large pinnipeds) show extreme aquatic
adaptation, far more than humans.

Burrowing does not lead to hairlessness (Rodentia, Insectivora, Lagomorpha,
Carnivora[weasels and badgers]).

Let's examine two really recent exploiters of the aquatic habitat: the
North American sea otter and the polar bear.

The sea otter spends almost all of its life at sea. It hardly ever lands. Its
skin is covered in fur packed so tight as to keep the water away from the
skin. Only the hind feet are webbed. It's about 5.5 feet long and weighs about
100 pounds (about the size of a ten year old child). It lives in shallow water
(about 200 feet of depth). It's at least as aquatic as any pinniped, spending
more time in the water.

The polar bear is semi-aqautic. It hunts on land and in the open water. It
lacks webbing, but can swim underwater. It is furred, and is the largest
terrestial carnivore extant.

Neither of these bolster your argument that somewhere down the ancestral tree
our ancestors had a semi-aquatic existence.

Let's look at the adaptations:
1. SC fat - supposed to insulate us against cold water, yet hypothermia is
still a challenge for swimmers. We allegedly waded in water, yet we have SC
fat all over (not just in the lower limbs). Easier to see SC fat as an
adaptation to assist us through times when food is lacking (and indeed this is
the most prevalent use of SC fat amongst modern humans).

2. Hairlessness - supposed to reduce our drag in the water. No
comparablly hairless aquatic or semi-aquatic mammal exists. Delphinidae are
far too developed and Pinnipeds have fur unless over 2000 pounds. Easier to
see hairlessness as a means of remaining cool (less heat retention, melanin
blocking UV radiation).

3. Webbing - supposed to improve swimming ability. Ask any swimmer if they
swim faster with their fingers spread open, revealing the web, or with their
fingers closed, turning their entire hand into a paddle. Webbing does not
improve upon the basic human ability to swim, and indeed is never used for
swimming by a competent swimmer. In the case of incompetent swimmers, webbing
does not prevent drowning. What appears to be webbing are the muscles of the
palm of the hand, somewhat enlarged compared to our simian cousins, providing
us with more surface area and power to provide our hands with a superior grip.

4. Holding breath - Despite claims to the contrary, animals do hold their
breath if they find themselves submerged in water. I've seen dogs hold their
breath so as to be silent as possible while trying to pick out a faint sound.
All animals, including humans, can panic, run out of air, and drown. However,
the immediate reaction is to hold their breath.

5. More sweat glands - Supposed to produce oily secretions which assist in
insulating the body and keeping it warm. Easier to see this as concomittant
with the loss of hair. Smaller hair follicles and roots provide more room for
sweat glands, which also assist the body in remaining cool through
evaporation. To stay warm humans smear fat upon their bodies. Long distance
swimmers still do this. Human sweat is inadequate for the task. In fact, the
insulating fat swimmers spread on their bodies is to plug up the sweat glands
and by preventing sweating cause the body's temperature to rise to compensate
for the loss of heat caused by contact with water.

So let's see what we have now: Hairlessness and more sweat glands to keep us
cooler suggests we were dealing with hot weather enough to thrive better by
adapting to it.

SC fat suggests an annual season where food is difficult to obtain.

'Webbing' suggests a development to provide our hands with a superior grip.

Holding breath is a trait we share with all air-breathing animals. No more
indicative of an aquatic existence than it is in any animal.

None of these adaptations improves our ability to exist in an aquatic
environment.

CA

Curious Amateur

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Dec 28, 2002, 10:05:20 AM12/28/02
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In article <3e0c8349$0$90228$ba62...@news.skynet.be>, "Marc Verhaegen" <fa20...@skynet.be> wrote:
snip (sorry, there were no credits for one of the sets of quotes)

>> Maybe, if the climate was as hot as some believe, it was to minimise the
>amount of the body exposed directly to the sun out on the open plains - just
>the shoulders and the top of the head, instead of the whole length of the
>torso.
>
>Even more unlikely: if that were true, a lot of mammals would have run
>bipedally.

And how would they have done that given their skeltal structure, Marc? Which
ones have hips/legs/rear feet that can be easily converted to bipedalism?
Simians have a long history of using their hips, legs and rear feet for an
upright position. Bipedalism is not such a big step beyond knuckle-walking.

>Besides it only works at midday.

When the sun is most intense.

snip


>> ... "Could living near and occasionally in water have been the
>circumstance which led mankind's ancestors to move from knuckle-walking to
>full bipedalism?
>
>?? Knuckle-walking is recent: it's only seen in extant gorillas & chimps.
>Fossil African hominids ca.4-2 Ma (Lucy, anamensis, boisei) had partial
>knuckle-walking features. IOW, it's more likely the other way round:
>knuckle-walking evolved from some sort of bipedalism (eg, as seen in the
>bipedal+climbing short-legged apiths).

I'd like to see you refute Owen Lovejoy's analysis of Lucy's method of
locomotion. Lucy was an obligate biped, not a knuckle-walker (not even
sometimes, the hip wouldn't allow it any better than it allows us to
knuckle-walk).

CA

Marc Verhaegen

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Dec 28, 2002, 7:09:34 PM12/28/02
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"Curious Amateur" <no_...@home.guv> wrote in message
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> >> Maybe, if the climate was as hot as some believe, it was to minimise
the amount of the body exposed directly to the sun out on the open plains -
just the shoulders and the top of the head, instead of the whole length of
the torso.

> >Even more unlikely: if that were true, a lot of mammals would have run
bipedally.

> And how would they have done that given their skeltal structure, Marc?

A lot of monkeys run sometimes on 2 legs, but savanna baboons are more
quadruped than forest ones.

> Which ones have hips/legs/rear feet that can be easily converted to
bipedalism?

Why do you think human hips... can "easily be converted to bipedalism"??

> Simians have a long history of using their hips, legs and rear feet for an
upright position.

Exactly. Savanna baboons are very quadruped.

> Bipedalism is not such a big step beyond knuckle-walking.

Beyond?? Why beyond? You probably mean KWing is not such a big step beyond
short-legged bipedalism as in apiths? It's the other way round of course:
KWers live today. Apiths (4-2 Ma) were less KWing than today's chimps &
gorillas (0 Ma). No doubt you know that KWing features have been described
in A.anamensis, afarensis & boisei?


> >Besides it only works at midday.

> When the sun is most intense.

Yes: it only works between say 11.30 am & 0.30 pm. A very short period, no
sensible man goes out then. And no savanna mammal stands on its hind legs at
noon. It's the most incredible idea I ever heard. "... the hypothesis of a
foraging or hunting male accords ill with the meridian theory of Wheeler
that our ancestors became bipedal to minimise direct solar radiation at
midday and retained a hairy heat shield only on top of the head (1984, 1988,
in imitation of D. H. K. Lee, in Newman, 1970; and in Schmidt-Nielsen 1974,
p. 89). If we accept this reasoning, it must have been the women who ranged
over the plains at noon while the balding and bearded males rested in the
shade."


> >> ... "Could living near and occasionally in water have been the
circumstance which led mankind's ancestors to move from knuckle-walking to
full bipedalism?

> >?? Knuckle-walking is recent: it's only seen in extant gorillas & chimps.
Fossil African hominids ca.4-2 Ma (Lucy, anamensis, boisei) had partial
knuckle-walking features. IOW, it's more likely the other way round:
knuckle-walking evolved from some sort of bipedalism (eg, as seen in the
bipedal+climbing short-legged apiths).

> I'd like to see you refute Owen Lovejoy's analysis of Lucy's method of
locomotion. Lucy was an obligate biped, not a knuckle-walker (not even
sometimes, the hip wouldn't allow it any better than it allows us to
knuckle-walk). CA

CA, you have a lot to read.
1) J.Clarke 2000 "What the StW 573 Australopithecus skeleton reveals about
early hominid bipedalism" AAPA abstracts:126: "... the foot had both bipedal
& climbing capabilities, whilst the arm & hand indicate adaptation to
arboreal locomotion. This skeleton's foot morphology is consistent with the
bipedal Laetoli footprint trails, which are not those of fully human feet,
but which have very clear ape-like morphology." What is "an obligate
biped"?? Is a wader-climber an obligate biped IYO?
2) Richmond & Strait 2000 Nature 404:382-5 say that Lucy (as well as
anamensis) had some KWing features.
3) The hip joint has not much to do with KWing. Leg length has. No doubt you
know that apiths had short legs, like African apes, unlike humans?

Marc Verhaegen

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Dec 28, 2002, 9:46:44 PM12/28/02
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"Curious Amateur" <no_...@home.guv> wrote in message
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> >All fully aquatic mammals (=Sirenia+Cetacea) are furless.

> Incorrect:

?? Sirenia & Cetacea are furless, no?

> Otariidae - Northern Fur Seal, Stellar Sea Lion, and California Sea Lion
Phocidae - Habor Seal, Ringed Seal, Gray Seal, Harp Seal, Bearded
Seal,Hooded Seal. (don't confuse short fur with no fur).

These are not furless, CA. Aren't you confusing something?? You do know they
spend an important part of their life on land or ice?

> >In cold regions, very large semi-aquatics (>500-1000 kg) are furless.

> Incorrect: Ursus - Polar Bear.

OK, thanks.

> >In tropical regions, the medium-sized (>20-50 kg) semi-aquatics are
furless (eg, pygmy hippos, babirusas) but also some medium-sized
non-aquatics that spend a lot of time in burrows can be very sparsely-haired
(aardvarks, wrat hogs, hunting-dogs)

> Marc, how much time must be spent in a burrow to fit this description? And
neither hunting dogs nor wart hogs are "sparsely-haired", they're
short-haired, not 'no-haired'.

OK, that would tend to restrict the furless ones to (semi)aquatic.

> >& some very large non-burrowing terrestrials are furless (all elephant
species, most rhino species, but not, eg, giraffes). Of small species, only
fully fossorial ones are furless (naked molerats). The negative connection
with burrowing & water suggests friction is correlated with furlessness.
This is also seen in humans (clothing).

> Marc, burrowing is not responsible for furlessness. Examine Rodentia which
probably includes the largest number of burrowing species. You could add
members of the weasel family as well, several of whom routinely hunt their
prey in burrows (spending more time in them than wart hogs and hunting
dogs).. You could also add members from Insectivora and Lagomorpha to this
list.

Reread what I said, CA: "in tropical regions".

(BTW, I listed furless mammals. Why would I add rabbits??)


> Seems to me you don't get into true hairlessness when it comes to Sirenia
till you hit a rather large size: Walrus - 2000+lbs Northern Elephant Seal -
8000+lbs

You do know what Sirenia are??


> Delphinidae is virtually hairless and comes in sizes that are comparable
to our own, but its form is so advanced along the line of aquatic
development as to make it hard to compare with humans.

Again: you are not following the argument. Cetacea are fully aquatic. The
time spent on land has no influence in fully aquatics.


> Consider that Otariidae, the most recent of the Pinnipeds to go aquatic,
are furred. Phocidae is furred. To find un-furred pinnipeds you have to
achieve a body weight over 2000 pounds. To find un-furred fully aquatic
species in our weight category you have to look at the extreme aquatic
developments in Cetaceans.

Again: make the distinction between tropical & non-tropical species. And
don't forget Steller sealions (<1000kg). Please re-read carelully what I
said.


> In other words, Marc, nature does not give you a readily comparable
example of what you think happened to humans.

Can you read my thoughts?? CA, re-read what I said: all I said about humans
was "clothing"! Clothing! Did I mention AAT??

> All the more recent aquatic adaptations (Pinnipeds beneath 2000 pounds)
are furry, and all of them show far more adaptation to an aquatic
environment than humans. All of the hairless aquatic mammals (Cetaceans and
really large pinnipeds) show extreme aquatic adaptation, far more than
humans.

Yes. So what?

> Burrowing does not lead to hairlessness (Rodentia, Insectivora,
Lagomorpha, Carnivora[weasels and badgers]).

Try to have a shaded view, CA. It's obvious that different factors are
involved, eg, body size, climate etc.

> Let's examine two really recent exploiters of the aquatic habitat: the
North American sea otter and the polar bear. The sea otter spends almost
all of its life at sea. It hardly ever lands. Its skin is covered in fur
packed so tight as to keep the water away from the skin. Only the hind feet
are webbed. It's about 5.5 feet long and weighs about 100 pounds (about the
size of a ten year old child). It lives in shallow water (about 200 feet of
depth). It's at least as aquatic as any pinniped, spending more time in the
water. The polar bear is semi-aqautic. It hunts on land and in the open
water. It lacks webbing, but can swim underwater. It is furred, and is the
largest terrestial carnivore extant. Neither of these bolster your
argument that somewhere down the ancestral tree our ancestors had a
semi-aquatic existence.

Again: if I had an "argument" in the above, it was "clothes"!


> Let's look at the adaptations: 1. SC fat - supposed to insulate us against
cold water, yet hypothermia is still a challenge for swimmers.

Not in tropical waters. Certainly not in fat people. To the contrary.

> We allegedly waded in water, yet we have SC fat all over (not just in the
lower limbs).

Human diving skills (not present in apes) clearly proves human ancestors
were parttime divers.

> Easier to see SC fat as an adaptation to assist us through times when food
is lacking (and indeed this is the most prevalent use of SC fat amongst
modern humans).

No, CA. All mammals lack food sometimes. Monkeys & apes have 10 times less
body fat than humans. Don't they lack food sometimes?


> 2. Hairlessness - supposed to reduce our drag in the water. No comparablly
hairless aquatic or semi-aquatic mammal exists. Delphinidae are far too
developed and Pinnipeds have fur unless over 2000 pounds. Easier to see
hairlessness as a means of remaining cool (less heat retention, melanin
blocking UV radiation).

See above.

> 3. Webbing - supposed to improve swimming ability. ...

Did I use that argument?? First define webbing. Syndactyly in hylobatids is
more likely for grasping branches. Dogs & cats & cows have webbing between
the toes. Just check your dog.

> 4. Holding breath - Despite claims to the contrary, animals do hold their
breath if they find themselves submerged in water. I've seen dogs hold their
breath so as to be silent as possible while trying to pick out a faint
sound. All animals, including humans, can panic, run out of air, and drown.
However, the immediate reaction is to hold their breath.

No dog or ape can hold its breath for several minutes. No dog or ape dives
tens of metres deep.


> 5. More sweat glands - Supposed to produce oily secretions which assist in
insulating the body and keeping it warm. Easier to see this as concomittant
with the loss of hair. Smaller hair follicles and roots provide more room
for sweat glands, which also assist the body in remaining cool through
evaporation. To stay warm humans smear fat upon their bodies. Long distance
swimmers still do this. Human sweat is inadequate for the task. In fact, the
insulating fat swimmers spread on their bodies is to plug up the sweat
glands and by preventing sweating cause the body's temperature to rise to
compensate for the loss of heat caused by contact with water.

1) Eccrine sweating is watery, not oily.
2) Thermoactive eccrine sweating is abundant in sealions & humans on land. I
have no examples of this in other mammals.


> So let's see what we have now: Hairlessness and more sweat glands to keep
us cooler

CA, you're making up your own "facts".
- Hairlessness: Don't you know that shaving off fur increases body
temperature in open places?
- Eccrine sweat glands cool off humans & sealions on land.

> suggests we were dealing with hot weather enough to thrive better by
adapting to it.

?? Please don't make up your own "facts".

> SC fat suggests an annual season where food is difficult to obtain.

Again: that's wishful thinking, CA. You are simply assuming what you want to
assume. Facts please. The only primates that have seasonal fat (not SC but
in the tail) are fat-tailed prosimians (estivation). Do you believe our
ancestors (since the Homo-Pan split) spent the summer sleeping in tree
holes??

> 'Webbing' suggests a development to provide our hands with a superior
grip.

Then why do dogs have webbing between the toes? what do dogs have to grasp?

> Holding breath is a trait we share with all air-breathing animals. No more
indicative of an aquatic existence than it is in any animal.

Completely wrong. Human breath hold is far superior to that of dogs or apes,
and superior to that of pigs, inferior to that of Cetacea, can best be
comparred to that of beavers (E.Schagatay 1996 "The human diving response:
effects of temperature and training" Univ.Lund Sweden).

> None of these adaptations improves our ability to exist in an aquatic
environment. CA

As I showed, breath-holding & SC fat are clear adaptations for spending more
time in water. Do you deny that ostriches had flying ancestors? Why don't
you give your own explanation why humans differ from chimps? Of course
ostriches are adapted to the lifestyle they live today, does that prevent
them from having flying ancestors?

Curious Amateur

unread,
Dec 29, 2002, 3:43:46 AM12/29/02
to
First, I'll point out you've snipped a lot from my previous article, Marc.
This may make some of my answers here seem a bit out of context to the
material you've chosen to quote. My answers may make more sense if read
alongside the other things I said in my previous response to this thread.

In article <3e0e3d67$0$90227$ba62...@news.skynet.be>, "Marc Verhaegen"

<fa20...@skynet.be> wrote:
>
>"Curious Amateur" <no_...@home.guv> wrote in message
>news:q2jP9.12455$%R6.7...@news20.bellglobal.com...
>
>> >> Maybe, if the climate was as hot as some believe, it was to minimise
>the amount of the body exposed directly to the sun out on the open plains -
>just the shoulders and the top of the head, instead of the whole length of
>the torso.
>
>> >Even more unlikely: if that were true, a lot of mammals would have run
>bipedally.
>
>> And how would they have done that given their skeltal structure, Marc?
>
>A lot of monkeys run sometimes on 2 legs, but savanna baboons are more
>quadruped than forest ones.

I was asking about savannah quadrapeds like the hooved mammals. My point being
that to argue that all mammals would adopt bipedality ignores the fact that
most mammals are nowhere near ready to evolve into a bipedal form.

>> Which ones have hips/legs/rear feet that can be easily converted to
>bipedalism?
>
>Why do you think human hips... can "easily be converted to bipedalism"??

I don't understand this question. First, it is not an answer to my question.
Second, human hips are already bipedal.

>> Simians have a long history of using their hips, legs and rear feet for an
>upright position.
>
>Exactly. Savanna baboons are very quadruped.

When moving on the ground, in a forest or on the savannah, all simians are
quadrapeds. The amount of quadrapedalism depends upon the amount of time on
the ground compared to the amount of time in a tree. Since the savannah has
fewer trees than a forest, it is understandable that savannah babbons spend
more time on the ground than their forest cousins. Thus they spend more time
as quadrapeds than forest baboons.

Your argument does not contradict bipedalism in the savannah, Marc. It merely
demonstrates that an obligate quadraped, given fewer trees to climb, spends
more time on the ground.

>> Bipedalism is not such a big step beyond knuckle-walking.
>
>Beyond?? Why beyond? You probably mean KWing is not such a big step beyond
>short-legged bipedalism as in apiths? It's the other way round of course:
>KWers live today. Apiths (4-2 Ma) were less KWing than today's chimps &
>gorillas (0 Ma). No doubt you know that KWing features have been described
>in A.anamensis, afarensis & boisei?

Not according to Owen Lovejoy, who reconstructed the afarensis hip and did the
initial analysis with the actual specimens. I'm still waiting for you to
refute his analysis.

And shall I ask you where the knuckle indentations were in the castings
at Laetoli? While human-like footprints were evident, there was no sign of
knuckle-walking.

>
>
>
>
>> >Besides it only works at midday.
>
>> When the sun is most intense.
>
>Yes: it only works between say 11.30 am & 0.30 pm.

It depends upon season and lasts for longer than an hour, Marc. At any other
time the angle of the sun provides more opportunity for shade.

>A very short period, no sensible man goes out then.

"mad dogs and Englishmen" ;-)

But you are thinking of Europeans who are poorly suited for savannah life.
Africans do not have the same problems.

>And no savanna mammal stands on its hind legs at
>noon. It's the most incredible idea I ever heard.

I agree. But you were the one arguing that if it were advantageous to be
bipedal in the savannah then all the animals would become bipedal. You seem to
ignore the liklihood of ungulate hips evolving into bipedal hips.

>"... the hypothesis of a
>foraging or hunting male accords ill with the meridian theory of Wheeler
>that our ancestors became bipedal to minimise direct solar radiation at
>midday and retained a hairy heat shield only on top of the head (1984, 1988,
>in imitation of D. H. K. Lee, in Newman, 1970; and in Schmidt-Nielsen 1974,
>p. 89). If we accept this reasoning, it must have been the women who ranged
>over the plains at noon while the balding and bearded males rested in the
>shade."

I doubt balding was an issue, as these creatures were dying before 40 ;-)

As for beards, I tend to think of this as the result of sexual
selection, like the peacock's feathers.

>> >> ... "Could living near and occasionally in water have been the
>circumstance which led mankind's ancestors to move from knuckle-walking to
>full bipedalism?
>
>> >?? Knuckle-walking is recent: it's only seen in extant gorillas & chimps.
>Fossil African hominids ca.4-2 Ma (Lucy, anamensis, boisei) had partial
>knuckle-walking features. IOW, it's more likely the other way round:
>knuckle-walking evolved from some sort of bipedalism (eg, as seen in the
>bipedal+climbing short-legged apiths).
>
>> I'd like to see you refute Owen Lovejoy's analysis of Lucy's method of
>locomotion. Lucy was an obligate biped, not a knuckle-walker (not even
>sometimes, the hip wouldn't allow it any better than it allows us to
>knuckle-walk). CA
>
>CA, you have a lot to read.
>1) J.Clarke 2000 "What the StW 573 Australopithecus skeleton reveals about
>early hominid bipedalism" AAPA abstracts:126: "... the foot had both bipedal
>& climbing capabilities, whilst the arm & hand indicate adaptation to
>arboreal locomotion. This skeleton's foot morphology is consistent with the
>bipedal Laetoli footprint trails, which are not those of fully human feet,
>but which have very clear ape-like morphology."

Sorry, Marc, but that is not convincing enough. I am aware others debated the
issue. I am also aware that many of them met with Lovejoy at Johanson's
institute and their objections were blown away. I'll stand by Lovejoy's
assessment of afarensis' locomotion.

>What is "an obligate
>biped"?? Is a wader-climber an obligate biped IYO?

An "obligate biped" is one who, when on the ground, routinely walks on two
legs. As long as this is true, it doesn't matter whether the individual wades,
climbs, or swims.

>2) Richmond & Strait 2000 Nature 404:382-5 say that Lucy (as well as
>anamensis) had some KWing features.

Get back to me on this when either Lovejoy or Johanson claim such things.

>3) The hip joint has not much to do with KWing.

Wrong. Compare the hip of a human with that of a chimp, and then compare both
with afarensis. There is a big difference and the result is knuckle-walking
and a rolling gait in chimps.

>Leg length has.

By that argument you'd have pygmies walking like chimps, Marc. Midgets and
dwarves too.

It doesn't happen because they all have human hips. Leg length makes no
difference at all.

>No doubt you
>know that apiths had short legs, like African apes, unlike humans?

See above. Dwarves and midgets are routinely shorter than afarensis.

Marc, human children have the shortest human legs of all, much shorter than
afarensis. When was the last time you saw a knuckle-walking three year old
human child? They run around on two little legs, fully bipedal.

Please accept that leg length does not impose knuckle-walking on anything. It
doesn't affect midgets, dwarves, pygmies or little children, all of whom fit
within the limits of afarensis' leg length. If you want to argue that leg
length affected afarensis' locomotion and required knuckle-walking, then you
have to explain why none of those I've mentioned are affected.

The truth is it is the shape of the hip and the connection points between hip
and leg that result in knuckle-walking. The ape has to have a centre of
gravity far in front of the hip to make knuckle-walking work. In a
knuckle-walker, that centre of gravity falls between the centre of gravity of
a fully developed quadraped (say a horse) and the centre of gravity of a fully
bipedal creature (such as a human or ostrich).

CA

Marc Verhaegen

unread,
Dec 29, 2002, 3:42:52 AM12/29/02
to

"AC" <sp...@nospam.com.invalid> wrote in message
news:slrnb0svm...@ts1.alberni.net...

> Namely, the fossil record.

Yes, the fossil record says Homo ergaster-erectus dispersed apparently in a
remarkably short time over southern Eurasia ca.1.8 Ma (fossils or tools of
that age in Algeria, Israel, Georgia, Java - IOW, this "fast" dispersal
happened along the coasts of the Mediterranean & Indian Ocean). The
subsequent sea level changes have usu. hindered fossilisation, but at some
places the seacoasts of that time can still be found, and here we find Homo
fossils amid shells, corals & barnacles (eg, Mojokerto Java ca.1.8 Ma).

IOW, the fossil record completely confirms the comparative evidence Alister
Hardy described in 1960 ("Was Man more aquatic in the past?" New Scientist):
how a sea-side lifestyle - incl. wading, swimming, collecting coconuts,
edible shells, turtles, crabs, seaweeds etc. - explains many typically human
features that are absent in chimps, and that are unexplained by all savanna
scenarios, eg, reduction of climbing skills, very large brain, greater
breathing control (= preadaptation for speech), very dextrous hands (stone
tool use to open nuts & shells), reduction of fur, thicker fat tissues,
longer legs, more linear body build, high needs of iodine, sodium,
poly-unsaturated fatty acids, etc.

The only problem is that many old savanna believers are so biased &
convinced of their Holy Savanna Theory (with no evidence at all BTW) that
don't want to see this & refuse to discuss the data. Luckily it's only the
less informed laymen that have these outdated savanna ideas that can still
be found in popular books. Many leading paleoanthropologists are wiser & are
more open-minded, eg, http://allserv.rug.ac.be/~mvaneech/outthere.htm

Curious Amateur

unread,
Dec 29, 2002, 4:32:26 AM12/29/02
to
In article <3e0e623d$0$29629$ba62...@news.skynet.be>, "Marc Verhaegen" <fa20...@skynet.be> wrote:
>
>"Curious Amateur" <no_...@home.guv> wrote in message
>news:tTiP9.12453$%R6.7...@news20.bellglobal.com...
>
>> >All fully aquatic mammals (=Sirenia+Cetacea) are furless.
>
>> Incorrect:
>
>?? Sirenia & Cetacea are furless, no?
>
>> Otariidae - Northern Fur Seal, Stellar Sea Lion, and California Sea Lion
>Phocidae - Habor Seal, Ringed Seal, Gray Seal, Harp Seal, Bearded
>Seal,Hooded Seal. (don't confuse short fur with no fur).
>
>These are not furless, CA. Aren't you confusing something??

Yes, confused Sirenia with Pinnpedia (whoops).

>You do know they
>spend an important part of their life on land or ice?

Important but not a lot of their life. Mating and birthing occur on land/ice,
usually for a few weeks. The rest of the year they are in the water.

You are not arguing that they are not fully aquatic, are you? Orcas beach
themselves to catch unwary seals. This does not reduce Orcas from being fully
aquatic.

>> >In cold regions, very large semi-aquatics (>500-1000 kg) are furless.
>
>> Incorrect: Ursus - Polar Bear.
>
>OK, thanks.

:-)

>> >In tropical regions, the medium-sized (>20-50 kg) semi-aquatics are
>furless (eg, pygmy hippos, babirusas) but also some medium-sized
>non-aquatics that spend a lot of time in burrows can be very sparsely-haired
>(aardvarks, wrat hogs, hunting-dogs)
>
>> Marc, how much time must be spent in a burrow to fit this description? And
>neither hunting dogs nor wart hogs are "sparsely-haired", they're
>short-haired, not 'no-haired'.
>
>OK, that would tend to restrict the furless ones to (semi)aquatic.

Not entirely, but certainly primarily.

>> >& some very large non-burrowing terrestrials are furless (all elephant
>species, most rhino species, but not, eg, giraffes). Of small species, only
>fully fossorial ones are furless (naked molerats). The negative connection
>with burrowing & water suggests friction is correlated with furlessness.
>This is also seen in humans (clothing).
>
>> Marc, burrowing is not responsible for furlessness. Examine Rodentia which
>probably includes the largest number of burrowing species. You could add
>members of the weasel family as well, several of whom routinely hunt their
>prey in burrows (spending more time in them than wart hogs and hunting
>dogs).. You could also add members from Insectivora and Lagomorpha to this
>list.
>
>Reread what I said, CA: "in tropical regions".

You don't think they have Rodentia, Insectivora, and Lagomorpha in tropical
regions? And aren't elephants and rhinos savannah creatures?

>(BTW, I listed furless mammals. Why would I add rabbits??)

You argued a relationship between burrowing and hairlessness. Rabbits are
burrowing animals and are not furless.

>
>
>> Seems to me you don't get into true hairlessness when it comes to Sirenia
>till you hit a rather large size: Walrus - 2000+lbs Northern Elephant Seal -
>8000+lbs
>
>You do know what Sirenia are??

Dugongs and manatees. Its been awhile since I had to recall such things ;-)

>> Delphinidae is virtually hairless and comes in sizes that are comparable
>to our own, but its form is so advanced along the line of aquatic
>development as to make it hard to compare with humans.
>
>Again: you are not following the argument. Cetacea are fully aquatic. The
>time spent on land has no influence in fully aquatics.
>
>
>> Consider that Otariidae, the most recent of the Pinnipeds to go aquatic,
>are furred. Phocidae is furred. To find un-furred pinnipeds you have to
>achieve a body weight over 2000 pounds. To find un-furred fully aquatic
>species in our weight category you have to look at the extreme aquatic
>developments in Cetaceans.
>
>Again: make the distinction between tropical & non-tropical species. And
>don't forget Steller sealions (<1000kg). Please re-read carelully what I
>said.

Stellers are not furless.

>> In other words, Marc, nature does not give you a readily comparable
>example of what you think happened to humans.
>
>Can you read my thoughts?? CA, re-read what I said: all I said about humans
>was "clothing"! Clothing! Did I mention AAT??

Do you need to mention AAT for me to make an independent observation, Marc?

Yes in fat people, Marc. They too suffer hypothermia (poor circulation, if
nothing else). As for tropical waters not causing hypothermia, if true then
there was no need to develop SC fat for the sake of being semi-aquatic.

>
>> We allegedly waded in water, yet we have SC fat all over (not just in the
>lower limbs).
>
>Human diving skills (not present in apes) clearly proves human ancestors
>were parttime divers.

Human diving skills (which are _not_ inherited, by the way) just shows we
learned how to jump in the water with style. It certainly does not demonstrate
any physical adaptation to water.

>> Easier to see SC fat as an adaptation to assist us through times when food
>is lacking (and indeed this is the most prevalent use of SC fat amongst
>modern humans).
>
>No, CA. All mammals lack food sometimes. Monkeys & apes have 10 times less
>body fat than humans. Don't they lack food sometimes?

Obviously not, or we'd find a lot of starved monkeys dead, wouldn't we?

You've discounted the need for SC fat in tropical waters (no hypothermia), and
you've discounted the need for SC fat to protect the organism through times of
hunger (which is what SC fat is used for today by most humans). So what is
your explanation for SC fat?

>> 3. Webbing - supposed to improve swimming ability. ...
>
>Did I use that argument?? First define webbing. Syndactyly in hylobatids is
>more likely for grasping branches. Dogs & cats & cows have webbing between
>the toes. Just check your dog.

So we are agreed that webbing has nothing to do with a proposed aquatic
existence.

>> 4. Holding breath - Despite claims to the contrary, animals do hold their
>breath if they find themselves submerged in water. I've seen dogs hold their
>breath so as to be silent as possible while trying to pick out a faint
>sound. All animals, including humans, can panic, run out of air, and drown.
>However, the immediate reaction is to hold their breath.
>
>No dog or ape can hold its breath for several minutes. No dog or ape dives
>tens of metres deep.

The polar bear does. And until you can come up with a reason for a dog or ape
to either of the above, I'd say you can't get them to do it because they can't
figure out why they should.

In other words, it could just as easily be a lack of motive or ability to
comprehend the need as it could be an inability.

At any rate, you are quibbling over minutes and meters, and ignoring the fact
they can and do hold their breath. If we are going to quibble over minutes and
metres, then let's use the sperm whale as our standard rather than humans ;-)

With such a standard, humans are not much better than dogs or apes.


>
>
>> 5. More sweat glands - Supposed to produce oily secretions which assist in
>insulating the body and keeping it warm. Easier to see this as concomittant
>with the loss of hair. Smaller hair follicles and roots provide more room
>for sweat glands, which also assist the body in remaining cool through
>evaporation. To stay warm humans smear fat upon their bodies. Long distance
>swimmers still do this. Human sweat is inadequate for the task. In fact, the
>insulating fat swimmers spread on their bodies is to plug up the sweat
>glands and by preventing sweating cause the body's temperature to rise to
>compensate for the loss of heat caused by contact with water.
>
>1) Eccrine sweating is watery, not oily.
>2) Thermoactive eccrine sweating is abundant in sealions & humans on land. I
>have no examples of this in other mammals.

Try horses and cattle.

>> So let's see what we have now: Hairlessness and more sweat glands to keep
>us cooler
>
>CA, you're making up your own "facts".

Hardly.

>- Hairlessness: Don't you know that shaving off fur increases body
>temperature in open places?

I have a friend who shaves his beard and close-crops his hair every summer to
cool down. Exposing more skin to wind allows for faster evaporation of sweat,
and thus cools down the body. Anyone whose worn clothing on a hot day, and
then had the chance to "peel" some of it off will appreciate the loss of
"fur".

>- Eccrine sweat glands cool off humans & sealions on land.
>
>> suggests we were dealing with hot weather enough to thrive better by
>adapting to it.
>
>?? Please don't make up your own "facts".

Marc, these "made-up" facts are personal experiences of mine or those I've
known. These are repeatable experiments.

>> SC fat suggests an annual season where food is difficult to obtain.
>
>Again: that's wishful thinking, CA. You are simply assuming what you want to
>assume. Facts please. The only primates that have seasonal fat (not SC but
>in the tail) are fat-tailed prosimians (estivation). Do you believe our
>ancestors (since the Homo-Pan split) spent the summer sleeping in tree
>holes??

SC fat is created during times of plenty, and are depleted through times of
hunger. Ask your doctor, Marc. It doesn't take Einstein to figure out that
this ability helps an organism make best use of the resources. Bears routinely
do this every year, laying on fat for the winter hibernation when they will
burn a considerable amount of fat keeping warm and alive without eating.

Simians lacking this adaptation obviously have a reasonably reliable
year-round supply of food. They have no need to stock up on food energy for
times of crisis.

>> 'Webbing' suggests a development to provide our hands with a superior
>grip.
>
>Then why do dogs have webbing between the toes? what do dogs have to grasp?

Webbing helps them to keep their toes together and pointed in the same
direction, important for long chases.

>> Holding breath is a trait we share with all air-breathing animals. No more
>indicative of an aquatic existence than it is in any animal.
>
>Completely wrong. Human breath hold is far superior to that of dogs or apes,
>and superior to that of pigs, inferior to that of Cetacea, can best be
>comparred to that of beavers (E.Schagatay 1996 "The human diving response:
>effects of temperature and training" Univ.Lund Sweden).

Which only shows we can be convinced to do something others are unwilling to
do. This does not demonstrate an inability in animals, only an unwillingness.
Unless these scientists were willing to do something as inhuman as to drwon
these poor creatures to see how long they'd hold their breath, I'd question
the results as indicating a problem with motivating the animal in question.

>> None of these adaptations improves our ability to exist in an aquatic
>environment. CA
>
>As I showed, breath-holding & SC fat are clear adaptations for spending more
>time in water.

Actually, you've shown that SC fat had nothing to do with tropical waters (no
hypothermia), and unless this ability appeared in humans after they left
Africa and entered temperate waters, it has nothing to do with an aquatic
existence at all.

With breath-holding all you've demonstrated is it is very difficult for humans
to motivate animals to hold their breath.

>Do you deny that ostriches had flying ancestors?

I haven't given it any thought, to be honest, and unless there are compelling
reasons to associate ostriches with a flying ancestor I believe it is possible
for the ostrich to derive from a terrestrial bird. Did it occur to you that
flightless birds (ie dinosaurs) are the primitive version of birds? Where do
you draw the line between a feathered, flightless dinosaur and a feathered,
flightless bird? Back at the split there was very little difference at all.

>Why don't
>you give your own explanation why humans differ from chimps?

I've been doing that, Marc. Read some of my other articles.

>Of course
>ostriches are adapted to the lifestyle they live today, does that prevent
>them from having flying ancestors?

No, it doesn't.

And you make a great argument there too. Just as an ostrich can have a flying
ancestor, a Human with sc fat and furlessness can have an ancestor that had
neither.

CA

Marc Verhaegen

unread,
Dec 29, 2002, 6:00:01 AM12/29/02
to

"Curious Amateur" <no_...@home.guv> wrote in message
news:sgzP9.7$rr1....@news20.bellglobal.com...

> >> >All fully aquatic mammals (=Sirenia+Cetacea) are furless.

> >> Incorrect:

> >?? Sirenia & Cetacea are furless, no?

> >> Otariidae - Northern Fur Seal, Stellar Sea Lion, and California Sea
Lion Phocidae - Habor Seal, Ringed Seal, Gray Seal, Harp Seal, Bearded
Seal,Hooded Seal. (don't confuse short fur with no fur).

> >These are not furless, CA. Aren't you confusing something??

> Yes, confused Sirenia with Pinnpedia (whoops).

OK.

> >You do know they spend an important part of their life on land or ice?

> Important but not a lot of their life. Mating and birthing occur on
land/ice, usually for a few weeks. The rest of the year they are in the
water.

Yes, if they die of cold during those weeks... I'm only suggesting they need
the fur for this crucial time on land.

> >You are not arguing that they are not fully aquatic, are you? Orcas beach
themselves to catch unwary seals. This does not reduce Orcas from being
fully aquatic.

Again confusing something, CA?
- Orcas=cetaceans, fully aquatic.
- Pinnipeds=seals etc.: birthing on land or ice.

> >> >In cold regions, very large semi-aquatics (>500-1000 kg) are furless.

> >> Incorrect: Ursus - Polar Bear.

> >OK, thanks.

> :-)


> >> >In tropical regions, the medium-sized (>20-50 kg) semi-aquatics are
furless (eg, pygmy hippos, babirusas) but also some medium-sized
non-aquatics that spend a lot of time in burrows can be very sparsely-haired
(aardvarks, wrat hogs, hunting-dogs)

> >> Marc, how much time must be spent in a burrow to fit this description?
And neither hunting dogs nor wart hogs are "sparsely-haired", they're
short-haired, not 'no-haired'.

> >OK, that would tend to restrict the furless ones to (semi)aquatic.

> Not entirely, but certainly primarily.

OK.

> >> >& some very large non-burrowing terrestrials are furless (all elephant
species, most rhino species, but not, eg, giraffes). Of small species, only
fully fossorial ones are furless (naked molerats). The negative connection
with burrowing & water suggests friction is correlated with furlessness.
This is also seen in humans (clothing).

> >> Marc, burrowing is not responsible for furlessness. Examine Rodentia
which probably includes the largest number of burrowing species. You could
add members of the weasel family as well, several of whom routinely hunt
their prey in burrows (spending more time in them than wart hogs and hunting
dogs).. You could also add members from Insectivora and Lagomorpha to this
list.

> >Reread what I said, CA: "in tropical regions".

> You don't think they have Rodentia, Insectivora, and Lagomorpha in
tropical regions?

Please re-read carefully: I also said: "medium-sized". Why do you believe
mutiple factors can't be involved?

> And aren't elephants and rhinos savannah creatures?

1 of 5 species of rhinos lives in open terrain.
1 of 3 species of elephants.

> >(BTW, I listed furless mammals. Why would I add rabbits??)

> You argued a relationship between burrowing and hairlessness.

I was listing the naked or sparsely haired mammals, remember?

> > Rabbits are burrowing animals and are not furless.

Of course: not: probably size.


> >> Seems to me you don't get into true hairlessness when it comes to
Sirenia till you hit a rather large size: Walrus - 2000+lbs Northern
Elephant Seal -8000+lbs

> >You do know what Sirenia are??

> Dugongs and manatees. Its been awhile since I had to recall such things
;-)

OK.

> >> Delphinidae is virtually hairless and comes in sizes that are
comparable to our own, but its form is so advanced along the line of aquatic
development as to make it hard to compare with humans.

> >Again: you are not following the argument. Cetacea are fully aquatic. The
time spent on land has no influence in fully aquatics.

> >> Consider that Otariidae, the most recent of the Pinnipeds to go
aquatic, are furred. Phocidae is furred. To find un-furred pinnipeds you
have to achieve a body weight over 2000 pounds. To find un-furred fully
aquatic species in our weight category you have to look at the extreme
aquatic developments in Cetaceans.

> >Again: make the distinction between tropical & non-tropical species. And
don't forget Steller sealions (<1000kg). Please re-read carelully what I
said.

> Stellers are not furless.

Females & young, yes, but as you could read above, I meant the adult male
Steller sealions are furless. Except for the manes. (Adult male Stellers &
humans have some astonishing parallels compared to their terrestrial
relatives (weasels & monkeys resp.): larger body weight, loss of fur except
manes, thick SC fat, elongated body, eccrine thermoactive sweating.)


> >> In other words, Marc, nature does not give you a readily comparable
example of what you think happened to humans.

> >Can you read my thoughts?? CA, re-read what I said: all I said about
humans was "clothing"! Clothing! Did I mention AAT??

> Do you need to mention AAT for me to make an independent observation,
Marc?

An observation?? Can you read my mind? What do you think I think happened to
humans?? Again: IMO the comparisons of furless mammals could suggest that
extant humans are (still) furless because they wear clothes. Have you given
1 argument why that should be wrong?


> >> All the more recent aquatic adaptations (Pinnipeds beneath 2000 pounds)
are furry, and all of them show far more adaptation to an aquatic
environment than humans. All of the hairless aquatic mammals (Cetaceans and
really large pinnipeds) show extreme aquatic adaptation, far more than
humans.

> >Yes. So what?


> >> Burrowing does not lead to hairlessness (Rodentia, Insectivora,
Lagomorpha, Carnivora[weasels and badgers]).

> >Try to have a shaded view, CA. It's obvious that different factors are
involved, eg, body size, climate etc.

> >> Let's look at the adaptations: 1. SC fat - supposed to insulate us
against cold water, yet hypothermia is still a challenge for swimmers.

> >Not in tropical waters. Certainly not in fat people. To the contrary.

> Yes in fat people, Marc. They too suffer hypothermia (poor circulation, if
nothing else).

I think you should inform a bit, CA. Humans display a SC layer of white fat
tissue, fairly evenly distributed over the surface of the central body parts
& comprising on average around 20 % of body weight. This fat layer is
conspicuously absent in savannah mammals & conspicuously common in the
larger aquatic ones, and demonstrably maladaptive in a hot terrestrial
environment. There are no fat animals on the savannah, with the
exception of small burrowing rodents or marsupials. In the case of these
species, the fat is brown rather than white, internal or localised (eg, in a
fat tail) rather than SC and, unlike human fat, it is subject to seasonal
fluctuation. Among larger animals, the dromedary has occasional need of a
fat store against food shortage, but here again the fat is highly
concentrated (in the hump), varies with the animal's feeding condition, and
fluctuates between 0.5 - 8 % of its body weight. The only fat animal which
exploits the grasslands around the rivers is the hippo, but it does this at
night (stays in the water during the day). In the case of marine mammals,
OTOH, the fat tissue is universal among the larger species. It varies from
20 to 25 % of the body weight in fast swimmers to more than 40 % in the
slower species. The adaptiveness of this feature in water has been further
illustrated by studies of human athletes, eg, blacks - in whom SC fat
comprises a somewhat lower % of overall body weight than in other
populations - tend to be the swiftest runners over both short & long
distances, but they are relatively poor swimmers. Successful swimmers are on
average fatter than the winners of track events; many long-distance swimmers
are even grossly fat (Pugh & Edholm 1955). The fat layer has been shown to
be an effective barrier against heat loss in water. A study of a fat Channel
swimmer revealed that when lying still in bath water at 18°C for more than
one hour, he complained of no discomfort other than boredom, whereas another
subject with much less SC fat complained of intense discomfort and showed a
drastic drop in rectal temperature after 15 minutes (ibid.). Clearly, the
possession of the fat layer facilitates spending more time in the water. The
result of one recent experiment even suggested that the converse may also be
true. It was found in a study of slightly obese women that, without dietary
restriction, an hour's daily walking or cycling reduced body weight by 10 &
12 % resp. after 6 months, while a daily swim caused a weight gain of 3 %
over the same period (Gwinup 1987). On land, OTOH, SC fat has the dual
disadvantage of reducing speed and, in hot climates, of acting as a heat
trap. An extra weight of fat tissue equivalent to only 10 % of body weight
seriously reduces speed. Even in temperate climates, no terrestrial animal
that has to run for its life - be it as predator or prey - has much fat.
Hares, eg, which escape predators by running, have much less body fat than
rabbits, which take refuge in their burrows. Excess fat can constitute a
real risk to humans taking exercise, especially in hot and sunny
environments (Austin & Lanking 1986). It has been calculated that most
land-based sports other than walking & table tennis are up to 10 times more
likely to lead to fatalities than swimming, despite the additional danger of
drowning incurred by swimmers (Dolmans 1987). And the same fat layer that is
advantageous in water, with its high thermal conductivity, is a handicap to
effective temperature control on-land. Stranded dolphins, even in cool
environments, soon die of hyperthermia; Pribilof fur seals are seriously
distressed by any activity on land at air temperatures of only 10°C. The
alleged danger of overheating on the savannah - sometimes advanced as the
reason for hairlessness - would have been compounded by the evolution of the
fat layer.

> As for tropical waters not causing hypothermia, if true then there was no
need to develop SC fat for the sake of being semi-aquatic.

Circular reasoning. Humans have no problems with hyper- nor hypothermia when
they spend the whole day in tropical water (ca.27°C). With the SC they have,
CA.

> >> We allegedly waded in water, yet we have SC fat all over (not just in
the lower limbs).

(When you're wading, you do that for feeding, the food is in the water, CA,
you have to dive or dip sometimes, don't you think?)

> >Human diving skills (not present in apes) clearly proves human ancestors
were parttime divers.

> Human diving skills (which are _not_ inherited, by the way

They _are_, CA. Ever seen a chimp dive?

>) just shows we learned how to jump in the water with style. It certainly
does not demonstrate any physical adaptation to water.

That's new. Just like climbing abilities (eg, of monkeys (not inherited
IYO??)) do not illustrate any physical adaptation to the trees?? Please, CA,
a bit serious.

> >> Easier to see SC fat as an adaptation to assist us through times when
food is lacking (and indeed this is the most prevalent use of SC fat amongst
modern humans).

> >No, CA. All mammals lack food sometimes. Monkeys & apes have 10 times
less body fat than humans. Don't they lack food sometimes?

> Obviously not, or we'd find a lot of starved monkeys dead, wouldn't we?

Is this an answer? Do you have 1 reason to think humans are more prone to
starvation than monkeys?? Or do you have a better reason why humans are 10
times fatter than monkeys or apes or dogs?

> You've discounted the need for SC fat in tropical waters (no hypothermia

No, re-read what I said: humans have no troubles with hyper- nor hypothermia
when they spend the whole day in tropical water (ca.27°C). With the SC they
have, CA.

>), and you've discounted the need for SC fat to protect the organism
through times of hunger (which is what SC fat is used for today by most
humans).

I did not. I only said that was an unlikely explanation why it evolved
originally: why don't chimps have SC fat to protect them in times of
hunger??

> So what is your explanation for SC fat?

A rudiment of beach-combers of course. What else?


> >> 3. Webbing - supposed to improve swimming ability. ...

> >Did I use that argument?? First define webbing. Syndactyly in hylobatids
is more likely for grasping branches. Dogs & cats & cows have webbing
between the toes. Just check your dog.

> So we are agreed that webbing has nothing to do with a proposed aquatic
existence.

As usual, it's more shaded than you think, CA, but I did not use that
argument here. You can find my view on this, eg, in my paper "Aquatic versus
savanna: comparative and paleo-environmental evidence" Nutrition and Health
9:165-191, 1993.


> >> 4. Holding breath - Despite claims to the contrary, animals do hold
their breath if they find themselves submerged in water. I've seen dogs hold
their breath so as to be silent as possible while trying to pick out a faint
sound. All animals, including humans, can panic, run out of air, and drown.
However, the immediate reaction is to hold their breath.

> >No dog or ape can hold its breath for several minutes. No dog or ape
dives tens of metres deep.

> The polar bear does. And until you can come up with a reason for a dog or
ape to either of the above, I'd say you can't get them to do it because they
can't figure out why they should.

Exactly, dogs or apes should not because they never dived as our ancestors
did. Polar bears OTOH dive for food.

> In other words, it could just as easily be a lack of motive or ability to
comprehend the need as it could be an inability.

No, inform: it's an inability, our precentral cortex is larger than in
chimps, largely due to the much larger representation of the breathing
musculature.

> At any rate, you are quibbling over minutes and meters, and ignoring the
fact they can and do hold their breath. If we are going to quibble over
minutes and metres, then let's use the sperm whale as our standard rather
than humans ;-)

That's very unfair, CA:
1) Holding your breath say some 50 times longer is "quibbling"?? Being able
to dive some 50 times deeper is "quibbling"?? Please a bit serious. Max.
breath hold diving is now more than 7 minutes. 7 minutes! Depth record is
over 100 m.
2) Did we ever claim human ancestors lived like sperm whales?? Again: our
view: a sea-side lifestyle - incl. wading, swimming, collecting edible
shells, turtles, crabs, coconuts, seaweeds etc. - easily explains many
typically human features that are absent in chimps, features that are
unexplained by the diverse savanna scenarios: reduction of climbing skills,
very large brain, greater breathing control, very dextrous hands (stone tool
use to open shells or nuts), reduction of fur, thicker fat tissues, longer


legs, more linear body build, high needs of iodine, sodium, poly-unsaturated

fatty acids etc. What's wrong with that? You still have to give your first
argument why our view would be wrong.

> With such a standard, humans are not much better than dogs or apes.

I estimate some 50 times. Not important to you?? Please...

> >> 5. More sweat glands - Supposed to produce oily secretions which assist
in insulating the body and keeping it warm. Easier to see this as
concomittant with the loss of hair. Smaller hair follicles and roots provide
more room for sweat glands, which also assist the body in remaining cool
through evaporation. To stay warm humans smear fat upon their bodies. Long
distance swimmers still do this. Human sweat is inadequate for the task. In
fact, the insulating fat swimmers spread on their bodies is to plug up the
sweat glands and by preventing sweating cause the body's temperature to rise

tocompensate for the loss of heat caused by contact with water.

> >1) Eccrine sweating is watery, not oily.

No answer?

> >2) Thermoactive eccrine sweating is abundant in sealions & humans on
land. I have no examples of this in other mammals.

> Try horses and cattle.

Please inform me... No, CA, no eccrine thermoactive sweating in these
animals AFAIK. AFAIK they don't even have eccrines on their bodies!


> >> So let's see what we have now: Hairlessness and more sweat glands to
keep us cooler

> >CA, you're making up your own "facts".

> Hardly.

See above. A factor of 50 doesn't mean anything to you??

> >- Hairlessness: Don't you know that shaving off fur increases body
temperature in open places?

> I have a friend who shaves his beard and close-crops his hair every summer
to cool down. Exposing more skin to wind allows for faster evaporation of
sweat, and thus cools down the body. Anyone whose worn clothing on a hot
day, and then had the chance to "peel" some of it off will appreciate the
loss of "fur".

1) Your friend's beard is underneath his face I presume.
2) When sheep are shaved they risk overheating in summer. We were discussing
hairlessness, remember?
3) Do you only sweat under your beard?
4) What about bedouins? do they like to have the chance to "peel" of their
clothes?

Again: it's a bit more shaded than you seem to think.

> >- Eccrine sweat glands cool off humans & sealions on land.

No answer?

> >> suggests we were dealing with hot weather enough to thrive better by
adapting to it.

> >?? Please don't make up your own "facts".

> Marc, these "made-up" facts are personal experiences of mine or those I've
known. These are repeatable experiments.

Yes, the sheep shaving has been discussed in the scientific literature.


> >> SC fat suggests an annual season where food is difficult to obtain.

> >Again: that's wishful thinking, CA. You are simply assuming what you want
to assume. Facts please. The only primates that have seasonal fat (not SC
but in the tail) are fat-tailed prosimians (estivation). Do you believe our
ancestors (since the Homo-Pan split) spent the summer sleeping in tree
holes??

> SC fat is created during times of plenty, and are depleted through times
of hunger. Ask your doctor, Marc.

So what? Of course it is? Did I deny that?? Just explain to me why humans
are 10 times fatter than chimps.


> It doesn't take Einstein to figure out that this ability helps an organism
make best use of the resources. Bears routinely do this every year, laying
on fat for the winter hibernation when they will burn a considerable amount
of fat keeping warm and alive without eating. Simians lacking this
adaptation obviously have a reasonably reliable year-round supply of food.
They have no need to stock up on food energy for times of crisis.

Yes, so what? Why are African people about 10 times fatter than Japanese
monkeys IYO?

> >> 'Webbing' suggests a development to provide our hands with a superior
grip.

> >Then why do dogs have webbing between the toes? what do dogs have to
grasp?

> Webbing helps them to keep their toes together and pointed in the same
direction, important for long chases.

That's 1 possible explanation. But we agreed "webbing" is not very relevant
here.

> >> Holding breath is a trait we share with all air-breathing animals. No
more indicative of an aquatic existence than it is in any animal.

> >Completely wrong. Human breath hold is far superior to that of dogs or
apes, and superior to that of pigs, inferior to that of Cetacea, can best be
comparred to that of beavers (E.Schagatay 1996 "The human diving response:
effects of temperature and training" Univ.Lund Sweden).

> Which only shows we can be convinced to do something others are unwilling
to do.

No, no, read Schagatay's book. Animals can be trained, remember: see the
title.

> This does not demonstrate an inability in animals, only an unwillingness.

No, no, please not your (wrong) impressions. Facts, CA.


> Unless these scientists were willing to do something as inhuman as to
drwon these poor creatures to see how long they'd hold their breath, I'd
question the results as indicating a problem with motivating the animal in
question.

Refusing to look at the evidence is not very scientific, CA.


> >> None of these adaptations improves our ability to exist in an aquatic
environment. CA

> >As I showed, breath-holding & SC fat are clear adaptations for spending
more time in water.

> Actually, you've shown that SC fat had nothing to do with tropical waters
(no hypothermia

No, no, I've answered this "objection" above.


>), and unless this ability appeared in humans after they left Africa and
entered temperate waters, it has nothing to do with an aquatic existence at
all.

Please, CA, think a bit: "after they left Africa"?? But African people still
live there! Why are African people about 10 times fatter than chimps IYO??


> With breath-holding all you've demonstrated is it is very difficult for
humans to motivate animals to hold their breath.

No, no, see above. It's very obvious to any unbiased observer that humans
dive many times better than chimps. Why IYO?


> >Do you deny that ostriches had flying ancestors?

> I haven't given it any thought, to be honest, and unless there are
compelling reasons to associate ostriches with a flying ancestor I believe
it is possible for the ostrich to derive from a terrestrial bird. Did it
occur to you that flightless birds (ie dinosaurs) are the primitive version
of birds? Where do you draw the line between a feathered, flightless
dinosaur and a feathered, flightless bird? Back at the split there was very
little difference at all.

So you believe that they have wings for nothing? or for running faster over
the savanna? just as you believe that humans dive many times better than
chimps for no reason? or for running faster perhaps??

> >Why don't you give your own explanation why humans differ from chimps?

> I've been doing that, Marc. Read some of my other articles.

Where can I find them? Can't you give them here in a nutshell?

> >Of course ostriches are adapted to the lifestyle they live today, does
that prevent them from having flying ancestors?

> No, it doesn't. And you make a great argument there too. Just as an
ostrich can have a flying ancestor, a Human with sc fat and furlessness can
have an ancestor that had neither. CA

No: humans are 10 times fatter than chimps. Why IYO? And they have much less
fur. Why IOY? Why can they dive & chimps can't? What is unlikely IYO in our
view than early Homo (begin Pleistocene) dispersed over southern Eurasia
along the coasts of the Mediterranean & Indian Ocean?

Michael Clark

unread,
Dec 29, 2002, 10:47:04 AM12/29/02
to
"Marc Verhaegen" <fa20...@skynet.be> wrote in message
news:3e0eb62a$0$29639$ba62...@news.skynet.be...

>
> "AC" <sp...@nospam.com.invalid> wrote in message
> news:slrnb0svm...@ts1.alberni.net...
>
> > Namely, the fossil record.

[the usual]

OK, so since his plonking, the only place I see Marco is over on T.O.
Perhaps if I retrieve his sorry hide from the ol' bit bucket...

> Many leading paleoanthropologists are wiser & are
> more open-minded, eg, http://allserv.rug.ac.be/~mvaneech/outthere.htm

Nowhere have I stated, either in print or on a public platform, or on the
media, that I support the AAH!

[..]

With best wishes,

Yours sincerely,

(Professor Emeritus) Phillip V. Tobias

-------------
Michael Clark
bit...@spammer.com
Hey Marco. Got that A'pith menu yet?


ejudy

unread,
Dec 29, 2002, 1:06:01 PM12/29/02
to
no_...@home.guv (Curious Amateur) wrote:
> "Marc Verhaegen" wrote:
> >"Curious Amateur" <no_...@home.guv> wrote :

Now even i can appreciate this,CA.
We should keep this post _bookmarked_
somewhere as an elegant answer to that old
AAT redundant inquiry quandary.
I will recommend it to Jois as it was her
time saving efficiency idea.
I think you have done a spiffy little piece of work here, CA.
Bravo.


[...............]

I especially like the clear logic in this passage:

[...........}

This too:



>
> >Of course
> >ostriches are adapted to the lifestyle they live today, does that prevent
> >them from having flying ancestors?
>
> No, it doesn't.
>
> And you make a great argument there too. Just as an ostrich can have a flying
> ancestor, a Human with sc fat and furlessness can have an ancestor that had
> neither.
>
> CA

~ej~
...;-).... (no teeth see hahaha!)

Curious Amateur

unread,
Dec 29, 2002, 2:19:48 PM12/29/02
to
In article <46e43451.02122...@posting.google.com>, ej...@my-deja.com (ejudy) wrote:
>no_...@home.guv (Curious Amateur) wrote:
>> "Marc Verhaegen" wrote:
>> >"Curious Amateur" <no_...@home.guv> wrote :
>
>Now even i can appreciate this,CA.
>We should keep this post _bookmarked_
>somewhere as an elegant answer to that old
>AAT redundant inquiry quandary.
>I will recommend it to Jois as it was her
>time saving efficiency idea.
>I think you have done a spiffy little piece of work here, CA.
>Bravo.

Thank you :-)

snip
>
>~ej~
>....;-).... (no teeth see hahaha!)

:-)

CA

firstjois

unread,
Dec 29, 2002, 3:32:37 PM12/29/02
to

"Michael Clark" <bit...@spammer.com> wrote in message
news:v0u6d0p...@corp.supernews.com...

: > Many leading paleoanthropologists are wiser & are


: > more open-minded, eg, http://allserv.rug.ac.be/~mvaneech/outthere.htm
:
: Nowhere have I stated, either in print or on a public platform, or on the
: media, that I support the AAH!
:
: [..]
:
: With best wishes,
:
: Yours sincerely,
:
: (Professor Emeritus) Phillip V. Tobias

:

What a shame that we haven't got some kind of photo gallery where we could
hang this one on the wall. Maybe enlarged, red border, lace edges,
seabreeze color frame. Put Marco's post beside it, slightly lower and much
smaller, of course, and dripping water naturally.

Jois

Marc Verhaegen

unread,
Dec 29, 2002, 7:55:27 PM12/29/02
to

"firstjois" <firstjo...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:DP6dnc8qI-A...@comcast.com...

> : > Many leading paleoanthropologists are wiser & are more open-minded,
eg, http://allserv.rug.ac.be/~mvaneech/outthere.htm

> What a shame that we haven't got some kind of photo gallery where we could


hang this one on the wall. Maybe enlarged, red border, lace edges,
seabreeze color frame. Put Marco's post beside it, slightly lower and much
smaller, of course, and dripping water naturally. Jois

The usual blabla of the savanna believers. No contents.

Prof.Tobias on the savanna nonsense:

"Humans are not savannah-adapted animals - In rejecting the SH, I was moved
primarily by the evidence unearthed in South Africa and East Africa.
Meanwhile, Elaine Morgan had been piecing together a number of other
arguments against the SH, based on some anatomical, biochemical and
physiological data of modern humans, much of which was collected by
Belgium's Dr Marc Verhaegen, which contrast sharply with the traits in
present-day animals that are truly adapted to savannah life. As
examples, modern humans lack sun-reflecting fur and are virtually hairless.
The cooling system in our skin is quite unfit for hot, dry, exposed
environments: we have numerous sweat glands and we waste water and sodium -
not very suitable for life on the savannah. Our ability to concentrate our
urine is poor and too low and if ever our earliest ancestors were savannah
dwellers, we must have been the worst, the most profligate urinators there.
Adapted savannah-dwellers need to drink more water at a time, but most
humans are not able to drink much at a time. The quantity of our
subcutaneous fat, which would insulate us against heat loss, is never found
in truly savannah-adapted animals. In our bodily functions, chemistry
and microscopical anatomy, we should be hopeless as savannah-dwellers. So
Marc Verhaegen and Elaine Morgan, in her remarkable book, The Scars of
Evolution, came to the same conclusion that we had reached from quite
different lines of evidence: the old Savannah Hypothesis was not tenable.
All former savannah supporters must recant ­ and this I did in London. It
was an exciting moment - living through a change of paradigm. Max
Planck, the German physicist and Nobel laureate, once wrote these words on
the replacement of an outworn paradigm: "A new scientific truth does not
triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but
rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows that
is familiar with it." That must be one of the masterpieces of cynicism on
the scientific process. Paradigm changes, I like to think, flow
overwhelmingly from new evidence and, where the evidence is sound and even
irresistible, they should be embraced just as lief by the old as by the
young. It was three weeks after my 71th birthday and I went on to declare,
"A change of paradigm shakes us up; it rejuvenates us; and, this above all,
it prevents mental fossilisation - and that is good for all of us."

Michael Clark

unread,
Dec 29, 2002, 8:37:55 PM12/29/02
to
"Marc Verhaegen" <fa20...@skynet.be> wrote in message
news:3e0f9a23$0$90220$ba62...@news.skynet.be...

>
> "firstjois" <firstjo...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:DP6dnc8qI-A...@comcast.com...
>
> > : > Many leading paleoanthropologists are wiser & are more open-minded,
> eg, http://allserv.rug.ac.be/~mvaneech/outthere.htm
>
> > What a shame that we haven't got some kind of photo gallery where we could
> hang this one on the wall. Maybe enlarged, red border, lace edges,
> seabreeze color frame. Put Marco's post beside it, slightly lower and much
> smaller, of course, and dripping water naturally. Jois
>
> The usual blabla of the savanna believers. No contents.
>
> Prof.Tobias on the savanna nonsense:

Nowhere have I stated, either in print or on a public platform, or on the


media, that I support the AAH!

[..]

With best wishes,

Yours sincerely,

(Professor Emeritus) Phillip V. Tobias

[macro]

firstjois

unread,
Dec 29, 2002, 9:09:40 PM12/29/02
to

"Michael Clark" <bit...@spammer.com> wrote in message
news:v0v90vr...@corp.supernews.com...
[snip]

Hi MB,

+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+

Nowhere have I stated, either in print or on a public platform, or on the
media, that I support the AAH!

[..]

With best wishes,

Yours sincerely,

(Professor Emeritus) Phillip V. Tobias

*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+

I did read something that reminded me of the AAR group this past week:

On the first day of puppy
The little dear made wee
On the carpeting in the hallway

On the second day of puppy
The little dear made wee
Underneath our tree
On the carpeting in the hallway

On the third day of puppy
The little dear made wee
Right in Marco's shoe
Underneath our tree
On the carpeting in the hallway

Well, I guess you can figure out what the rest would be about, eh?

Jois

+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+

Nowhere have I stated, either in print or on a public platform, or on the
media, that I support the AAH!

[..]

With best wishes,

Yours sincerely,

(Professor Emeritus) Phillip V. Tobias

*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+

Dr. Tobias, I bet you are a lovely person! Happy New Year!

Jois


Bob Keeter

unread,
Dec 29, 2002, 9:30:27 PM12/29/02
to
in article v0u6d0p...@corp.supernews.com, Michael Clark at
bit...@spammer.com wrote on 12/29/02 3:47 PM:

Very interesting! ;-)

Marc,

Here in the States we have a saying "Back up 15 and punt!" The basic meaning
is that according to the rules of the game, you have to kick the ball to the
opposing team's offensive team and trot your offensive players off of the
field. If Im reading this thread correctly, you cite a persons's "wisdom"
in support of your theory and that person disclaims the concept, those
"quoted" words and for the record, ever even having said or written them.
This is not good. Maybe you accidentally mis-interpreted them? Maybe
someone else mis-quoted them to you! Maybe its just plain confusion! Maybe,
just maybe, its also time to consider an apology and a retraction?

IOW, "Back up 15 and punt!" 8-)

Regards
bk

AC

unread,
Dec 29, 2002, 10:02:06 PM12/29/02
to

The Church of the Aquatic Ape, even when fully submerged in the waters of
its own lack of evidence, never retracts. I'm sure Mr. Verhaegen will
simply repeat his previous statement.

--
AC

Bob Keeter

unread,
Dec 29, 2002, 10:31:43 PM12/29/02
to
in article slrnb0vdu...@ts1.alberni.net, AC at
sp...@nospam.com.invalid wrote on 12/30/02 3:02 AM:

Snippage. . . .

>>
>> Very interesting! ;-)
>>
>> Marc,
>>
>> Here in the States we have a saying "Back up 15 and punt!" The basic meaning
>> is that according to the rules of the game, you have to kick the ball to the
>> opposing team's offensive team and trot your offensive players off of the
>> field. If Im reading this thread correctly, you cite a persons's "wisdom"
>> in support of your theory and that person disclaims the concept, those
>> "quoted" words and for the record, ever even having said or written them.
>> This is not good. Maybe you accidentally mis-interpreted them? Maybe
>> someone else mis-quoted them to you! Maybe its just plain confusion! Maybe,
>> just maybe, its also time to consider an apology and a retraction?
>>
>> IOW, "Back up 15 and punt!" 8-)
>
> The Church of the Aquatic Ape, even when fully submerged in the waters of
> its own lack of evidence, never retracts. I'm sure Mr. Verhaegen will
> simply repeat his previous statement.

And thats one possibility. The other is that Marc siezed the opportunity to
gain a certain credibility and respectability. One of those "choice"
issues, . . . and you just never KNOW what choices might be made.

Regards
bk

Michael Clark

unread,
Dec 29, 2002, 10:37:59 PM12/29/02
to
"Bob Keeter" <rke...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:BA351CB0.23105%rke...@earthlink.net...

> in article v0u6d0p...@corp.supernews.com, Michael Clark at
> bit...@spammer.com wrote on 12/29/02 3:47 PM:

[Tobias quote]

> Very interesting! ;-)
>
> Marc,
>
> Here in the States we have a saying "Back up 15 and punt!" The basic meaning
> is that according to the rules of the game, you have to kick the ball to the
> opposing team's offensive team and trot your offensive players off of the
> field. If Im reading this thread correctly, you cite a persons's "wisdom"
> in support of your theory and that person disclaims the concept, those
> "quoted" words and for the record, ever even having said or written them.
> This is not good. Maybe you accidentally mis-interpreted them? Maybe
> someone else mis-quoted them to you! Maybe its just plain confusion! Maybe,
> just maybe, its also time to consider an apology and a retraction?
>
> IOW, "Back up 15 and punt!" 8-)
>
> Regards
> bk

Oh, I don't think you'll see Marco retracting anything anytime soon.
What Tobias has said (in that macro that Marco is so fond of posting)
is that he has "finally" had a parting of ways with the "savanna theory".
That's all very well and good. What our Belgian Bottlewasher fails to
grasp is that this does not equate to ~support~ for the AAR. It really
is rather simple (and Tobias has said so).

Bipedalism arose in the trees. After a certain threshold in body size
is reached, it becomes most efficient for a large-bodied, arboreal primate
to either move beneath branches or on ~top~ of them (bipedally!).
So beating up on antelope chasers on the short grass prairie, or LCA's
bent on standing up to escape the mid-day sun is literally BARKING
UP THE WRONG TREE. (lightbulb! --ding,ding!)

OK, gentle readers, let's all synchronize watches so we can accurately
measure how long it takes the ~master of the macro~ to "get it".
<tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock>


Lorenzo L. Love

unread,
Dec 29, 2002, 10:44:10 PM12/29/02
to

If he was the slightest bit interested in credibility and
respectability, he wouldn't be daily making a fool of himself. It's
characteristic of his deep psychosis that he believes the stuff he makes
up.

Lorenzo L. Love
http://home.thegrid.net/~lllove

Main Entry: psy·cho·sis
Pronunciation: sI-'kO-s&s
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural psy·cho·ses /-"sEz/
Etymology: New Latin
Date: 1847
: fundamental mental derangement (as schizophrenia) characterized by
defective or lost contact with reality

© 1999 by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated

Bob Keeter

unread,
Dec 29, 2002, 11:03:56 PM12/29/02
to
in article 3E0FC0D4...@thegrid.net, Lorenzo L. Love at
lll...@thegrid.net wrote on 12/30/02 3:44 AM:

OK now! Watchit or we start critically talking about those darned "kitty
cats" and pretend that we did not recognized the parody! 8-) LOL!

Seriously, sometimes that old "reductio ad absurdium" approach just might
force a change of feathers. Here we have a direct quote that is either a
forgery, an error. The perpetrator needs to come clean, else we will all be
forced to simply chalk it up as a forgery and he drifts right off the left
hand side of the scale.

Getting caught in a mistake is not exactly a unique circumstance, failing to
own up to that mistake, or come clean on the forgery, well, that is
different. That would be one of those things that even I, arch-Libertarian
that some claim, harp on as having no place in science; not amongst the
people that we happen to agree with nor then ones that we disagree with.

So. . . . . . . Lets see how Marc chooses to address it. It could be a
mistaken quote, and a simple error in interpretation on his part, and he is
sorry for it; OR it is a forgery, intended as such, and continued as such,
and he is unrepentant for the forgery. First case, well, we have all erred.
Second case, its just a matter of truthfullness, honor, personal integrity
and scientific professionalism. (Pretty big "just" wouldnt you say? ;-) )
Professional scientists dont need and cannot tolerate forgery or lies, and
Ive even discussed that at LENGTH with some other members of this group, so
its not just an AAH issue as far as Im concerned!

So. . . we will see.

Regards
bk

Michael Clark

unread,
Dec 29, 2002, 11:33:22 PM12/29/02
to
"Bob Keeter" <rke...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:BA3531DF.23124%rke...@earthlink.net...

> in article 3E0FC0D4...@thegrid.net, Lorenzo L. Love at
> lll...@thegrid.net wrote on 12/30/02 3:44 AM:
>
[snip]

No, Bob. The issue is not whether or if Marco is lying --the "Out there" article
is real enough. The issue is what sort of "spin" he puts on it. Watch your mailbox
and judge for yourself.

> Regards
> bk
>


Jim McGinn

unread,
Dec 30, 2002, 2:24:32 AM12/30/02
to
"Michael Clark" <bit...@spammer.com> wrote

> Bipedalism arose in the trees. After a certain threshold in body size
> is reached, it becomes most efficient for a large-bodied, arboreal primate
> to either move beneath branches or on ~top~ of them (bipedally!).

It is true that bipedalism arose in a species that occupied trees.
But it's pretty whacko to say that bipedalism arose in trees. And who
knows where you're getting this "threshold," BS.

Michael Clark

unread,
Dec 30, 2002, 11:44:55 AM12/30/02
to
"Jim McGinn" <jimm...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:ac6a5059.02122...@posting.google.com...

If you're having difficulty following this, Jimmy, it isn't because you
are simply looking for an argument (which is certainly true), it is
because you don't know ~anything~ about current PA. No surprise!
Now run along and go play in the traffic.

Get run out of SBE?
---------
Michael Clark
bit...@spammer.com
"You don't build hypotheses on the basis of unsupported conjecture."
--Jim McGinn


Philip Deitiker

unread,
Dec 30, 2002, 11:55:24 AM12/30/02
to
"firstjois" <firstjo...@hotmail.com> wrote in
news:DP6dnc8qI-A...@comcast.com:

>: Nowhere have I stated, either in print or on a public platform, or on
>: the media, that I support the AAH!

>: With best wishes,
>: Yours sincerely,
>: (Professor Emeritus) Phillip V. Tobias

> What a shame that we haven't got some kind of photo gallery where we
> could hang this one on the wall. Maybe enlarged, red border, lace
> edges, seabreeze color frame. Put Marco's post beside it, slightly
> lower and much smaller, of course, and dripping water naturally.

Lol. with clowns, elves, and grimlins decorating its frame and the
inscription of some famous limey on the futility of a man's folly snaking
almost invisibly amoungst the characters of the frame.

Please folks however watch the NG line in followups:

"talk.origins,sci.anthropology,sci.anthropology.paleo"

we do not want to attract any more black waterfowl than we aptly deserve.

Bob Keeter

unread,
Dec 30, 2002, 12:04:58 PM12/30/02
to
in article v0vj4h4...@corp.supernews.com, Michael Clark at
bit...@spammer.com wrote on 12/30/02 4:33 AM:

Snippage. . . . .

> No, Bob. The issue is not whether or if Marco is lying --the "Out there"
> article is real enough. The issue is what sort of "spin" he puts on it.
> Watch your mailbox and judge for yourself.
>
>

Guess I have a problem with the distinction some try to make between
"spinning" and "lying". Way too fine and cultured of a difference for my
feeble ole simpleton mind I guess. A thing either "IS", or it "ISN'T"! If I
were to try to maintain that an "ISN'T" is an "IS" ( Egads, doesnt that
sound downright "Clintonian"? ;-) ), no matter what 'English' I put on the
pitch, its still a lie. OOOOhhhh did I make a little double ententre there!
Just in case you werent watching of course! ;-)

Sorry, guess I just never graduated to "Technicolor" or even "gray scale" in
some things! Intellectual honesty and personal integrity just seem such
nice, well-behaved single-digit binary processes, that anyone worth of the
title "professional" or even aspiring to "respectable" have to be very
careful to observe since it underpins the "trust" others are prone to give!
But then thats the "problem" some people never get over! No amount of
affluence, position, education or reputation can truely insulate a person
from having to "tell the truth" at some point! (i.e. Nixon, Hart, Clinton;
on that last one, certainly one of these days!)

8-)

But as you said, we will all see, and what we see is definitely up to Mr.
Marc!

Have a good one, and the best of the New Year to you and yours!

Regards
bk

Philip Deitiker

unread,
Dec 30, 2002, 12:03:38 PM12/30/02
to
"Lorenzo L. Love" <lll...@thegrid.net> wrote in
news:3E0FC0D4...@thegrid.net:

> If he was the slightest bit interested in credibility and
> respectability, he wouldn't be daily making a fool of himself. It's
> characteristic of his deep psychosis that he believes the stuff he
> makes up.

He did leave the group for a time, but returned and shortly thereafter #d
and J@b followed, you notice he has been xposting between TO and sap.
His psychosis, as previously defined, may be inadequate for the new task it
has to serve, as he might have gotten a few pointers from some more rather
skilled and troll worthy loons. lol..

At some point, when fruit loops get big enough, they finally become a donut
which may be why we have sayings like

'go take a flying leap at a rolling donut'

Ah, but ladies in gentlemen this all escapes me, because somehow the AAT
has not registered with my kill filter and thus I need to do a little 'add
to score file'.

Score:: -9999
Subject: aat


Bob Keeter

unread,
Dec 30, 2002, 1:04:57 PM12/30/02
to
Marc,

Since this posting I have not seen a comprehensive reply.

Perhaps time to "punt" and retain some respectability or. . . . not.

Regards
bk

in article v0u6d0p...@corp.supernews.com, Michael Clark at
bit...@spammer.com wrote on 12/29/02 3:47 PM:

Marc Verhaegen

unread,
Dec 30, 2002, 3:53:31 PM12/30/02
to

"Michael Clark" <bit...@spammer.com> wrote in message
news:v0v90vr...@corp.supernews.com...

> Got that A'pith menu yet?

Our tooth microwear studies indicate that A. afarensis molar enamel has a
glossy polished surface that is typical of the molars of capybaras
Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris and mountain-beavers Aplodontia rufa24. Both these
semi-aquatic rodents feed mainly on riverside herbs, grasses and the bark of
young trees. The microwear of Australopithecus boisei displays more pits,
wide parallel striations and deep-recessed occlusal dentine features when
compared to A. afarensis25,26, resembling that of beavers Castor fiber,
which feed on riverine herbs, roots of water-lilies, bark and woody plants.
Apparently, an early australopith diet of fruits (larger front-teeth) and
swamp herbs (polishing) was supplemented with woody plants in the robust
australopiths (more wear). Walker's suggestion that A. boisei were
bulk-eaters of "small, hard fruits with casings, pulp, seeds and all"27
could explain the deep-recessed dentine, but not the heavily polished enamel
that is typical of marsh-plant feeders24,25.

These microwear data are consistent with two studies on South-African
australopiths28,29. Sillen provides three possibilities for low
strontium:calcium ratios in A. robustus: partial carnivory; eating leaves
and shoots of forbs and woody plants; and eating food derived from
well-drained streamside soils28. Sponheimer and Lee-Thorp state that A.
africanus "ate not only fruits and leaves but also large quantities of
carbon-13-enriched foods such as grasses and sedges or animals that ate
these plants, or both"29. However, regular consumption of savannah grasses
is incompatible with the polished, rounded microwear24,29 and predominant
meat eating is unlikely in view of the blunt molars27. More probable is a
diet of sedges and other marshland plants supplemented with fruits and
animals (e.g. tools attributed to A. robustus now suggest termite-eating30).

Independent lines of evidence thus suggest that different australopith
species regularly waded for shallow-water plants, possibly like lowland
gorillas do today15, only much more frequently. Papyrus or reed sedges were
abundant in australopith environments (Table 2) and are part of the diet of
extant hominids. Gorillas eat bamboo shoots and stalks, as well as swamp
herbs and sedges (Table 1); all hominids eat cane; bipedally wading
chimpanzees and humans collect water-lilies; and rice growing in shallow
water and other cereals are staple foods for humans.


Marc Verhaegen

unread,
Dec 30, 2002, 3:54:42 PM12/30/02
to

"firstjois" <firstjo...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:kaKdnZrS5dY...@comcast.com...

> Nowhere have I stated, either in print or on a public platform, or on the
media, that I support the AAH!

Humans are not savannah-adapted animals - In rejecting the SH, I was moved

Marc Verhaegen

unread,
Dec 30, 2002, 4:10:57 PM12/30/02
to

"Bob Keeter" <rke...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:BA35F74D.2328C%rke...@earthlink.net...

I have not seen a comprehensive reply of the savanna believers to what
Tobias said http://allserv.rug.ac.be/~mvaneech/outthere.htm


Humans are not savannah-adapted animals

Marc Verhaegen

unread,
Dec 30, 2002, 4:05:13 PM12/30/02
to

"Bob Keeter" <rke...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:BA351CB0.23105%rke...@earthlink.net...


>If Im reading this thread correctly, you cite a persons's "wisdom" in
support of your theory

Apparently you can't read.

>and that person disclaims the concept

Apparently he did not, he said: Nowhere have I stated, either in print or on


a public platform, or on the media, that I support the AAH!

>, those "quoted" words and for the record, ever even having said or written
them.

Keeter, I've met prof.Tobias a few times, and I know very well what he
thinks of my theory and of the SH.
http://allserv.rug.ac.be/~mvaneech/outthere.htm

Humans are not savannah-adapted animals - In rejecting the SH, I was moved

I hope you know there's a difference between saying "SH is wrong" & "SH is
not necessarily correct"

Marc Verhaegen

unread,
Dec 30, 2002, 4:17:49 PM12/30/02
to

"Marc Verhaegen" <fa20...@skynet.be> wrote in message
news:3e10b340$0$90223$ba62...@news.skynet.be...

>
> "firstjois" <firstjo...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:kaKdnZrS5dY...@comcast.com...
>
> > Nowhere have I stated, either in print or on a public platform, or on
the
> media, that I support the AAH!

Sorry I forgot the URL
http://allserv.rug.ac.be/~mvaneech/outthere.htm

Bob Keeter

unread,
Dec 30, 2002, 4:39:59 PM12/30/02
to
in article 3e10b5a6$0$90219$ba62...@news.skynet.be, Marc Verhaegen at
fa20...@skynet.be wrote on 12/30/02 9:05 PM:

Snippage. . . .. .

>
> I hope you know there's a difference between saying "SH is wrong" & "SH is
> not necessarily correct"
>

Just as I hope that advocating a clear and logical consideration (and
possibly refutation of the AAH) is NOT the same as supporting the AAH! I,
or Prof. Tobias, or ANYONE, can say that your concept deserves an honest,
unemotional assessment without advocating its truth or credibility.

In your particular case, have you EVER said that Prof. Tobias SUPPORTED the
AAH or have you always held that he supported the honest evaluation of the
concept? AND if an honest evaluation were provide (as CA tried to provide
quite nicely on this forum recently) would you be able to unemotionally
accept the "findings" or would it be pointless?

And yea, I can sorta read a little bit. . . . . 8-)

Regards
bk

Marc Verhaegen

unread,
Dec 30, 2002, 5:46:09 PM12/30/02
to

"Bob Keeter" <rke...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:BA362A0E.232CF%rke...@earthlink.net...

> Just as I hope that advocating a clear and logical consideration (and
possibly refutation of the AAH) is NOT the same as supporting the AAH!

Sigh. For the 100th time, idiot, nobody ever said that. For Tobias' opinion
on the matter just read his own paper
http://allserv.rug.ac.be/~mvaneech/outthere.htm Did he say there he
supports "AAH" (whatever that may mean)??

Marc Verhaegen

unread,
Dec 30, 2002, 6:27:59 PM12/30/02
to

"Curious Amateur" <no_...@home.guv> wrote in message
news:IyyP9.2$rr1....@news20.bellglobal.com...

> First, I'll point out you've snipped a lot from my previous article, Marc.

CA, I'm going to snip everything. Sorry, I think you're a nice guy & I'm
sure you mean what you're saying, but there are more pleasant things to do
than repeating everything that has been discussed here many times. I realise
you're unconvinceable (because too biased IMO) - why should I do the effort?

(Please inform on the things you're discussing: you hadn't even heard of
Kenyanthropus! If you really want to understand what I'm saying on apiths
(has nothing to do with AAT) please read my Hum.Evolution papers
http://allserv.rug.ac.be/~mvaneech/Fil/Verhaegen_Human_Evolution.html )

Best - until I have more time perhaps.

Marc


Michael Clark

unread,
Dec 30, 2002, 7:24:52 PM12/30/02
to

"Marc Verhaegen" <fa20...@skynet.be> wrote in message
news:3e10b2f9$0$29638$ba62...@news.skynet.be...

>
> "Michael Clark" <bit...@spammer.com> wrote in message
> news:v0v90vr...@corp.supernews.com...
>
> > Got that A'pith menu yet?

Here is another of Marco's Macros (tm). Again (!), here are the questions that
inevitably crop up.

> Our tooth microwear studies indicate that A. afarensis molar enamel has a
> glossy polished surface that is typical of the molars of capybaras
> Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris and mountain-beavers Aplodontia rufa24. Both these
> semi-aquatic rodents feed mainly on riverside herbs, grasses and the bark of
> young trees. The microwear of Australopithecus boisei displays more pits,
> wide parallel striations and deep-recessed occlusal dentine features when
> compared to A. afarensis25,26, resembling that of beavers Castor fiber,
> which feed on riverine herbs, roots of water-lilies, bark and woody plants.
> Apparently, an early australopith diet of fruits (larger front-teeth) and
> swamp herbs (polishing) was supplemented with woody plants in the robust
> australopiths (more wear). Walker's suggestion that A. boisei were
> bulk-eaters of "small, hard fruits with casings, pulp, seeds and all"27
> could explain the deep-recessed dentine, but not the heavily polished enamel
> that is typical of marsh-plant feeders24,25.

Is the "polish" (a highly subjective term) seen "ONLY" in capybaras?
Answer the question. Don't tell me that it comes exclusively from "marsh plants"
when you KNOW that it comes from a variety of sources. DON'T LIE!

> These microwear data are consistent with two studies on South-African
> australopiths28,29.

Since these are qualitative assessments, they would be "consistent" with
darn near anything. Note that neither of these sources ~support~ your story
that A'piths were exclusive eaters of "marsh plants"

> Sillen provides three possibilities for low
> strontium:calcium ratios in A. robustus: partial carnivory; eating leaves
> and shoots of forbs and woody plants; and eating food derived from
> well-drained streamside soils28. Sponheimer and Lee-Thorp state that A.
> africanus "ate not only fruits and leaves but also large quantities of
> carbon-13-enriched foods such as grasses and sedges or animals that ate
> these plants, or both"29. However, regular consumption of savannah grasses
> is incompatible with the polished, rounded microwear24,29

WHY?! What about grass SEEDS? Where are opal phytoliths found?
You need to provide an answer to ~each~ of these questions --note the
~question marks~ . What the hell is wrong with "savanna grasses", Marco?
Is this another of your desperate attempt to separate a'piths from the
savanna? Hmmm?

> and predominant
> meat eating is unlikely in view of the blunt molars27.

Do you eat meat, Marco? Are your molars "blunt"? What does that
tell you --if anything....?

> More probable is a
> diet of sedges and other marshland plants supplemented with fruits and
> animals (e.g. tools attributed to A. robustus now suggest termite-eating30).

Why "marshland plants" ? Why not "savanna grasses" (seeds)?

> Independent lines of evidence thus suggest that different australopith
> species regularly waded for shallow-water plants,

WHAT evidence? You familiarize yourself with the term taphonomy yet?
How long have you had to work it out? 10 years? 20?

> possibly like lowland
> gorillas do today15, only much more frequently.

Really? Where's your evidence for the "frequency" of wading for shallow
water plants?

> Papyrus or reed sedges were
> abundant in australopith environments (Table 2) and are part of the diet of
> extant hominids.

So are grass seeds.

> Gorillas eat bamboo shoots and stalks, as well as swamp
> herbs and sedges (Table 1); all hominids eat cane; bipedally wading
> chimpanzees and humans collect water-lilies; and rice growing in shallow
> water and other cereals are staple foods for humans.

This is not evidence in support of your contention that a'piths ate marshland
plants. This is merely handwaving and empty verbiage. Intro students get
their butts chewed for doing just this sort of "research".
-----------
Michael Clark
bit...@spammer.com
Hey Marco. Got that A'pith menu yet?


Michael Clark

unread,
Dec 30, 2002, 7:35:24 PM12/30/02
to
"Marc Verhaegen" <fa20...@skynet.be> wrote in message
news:3e10b69c$0$29645$ba62...@news.skynet.be...

>
> "Bob Keeter" <rke...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
> news:BA35F74D.2328C%rke...@earthlink.net...
>
[macro]

Nowhere have I stated, either in print or on a public platform, or on the
media, that I support the AAH!

[..]

With best wishes,

Yours sincerely,

(Professor Emeritus) Phillip V. Tobias

------------

Michael Clark

unread,
Dec 30, 2002, 7:37:50 PM12/30/02
to

"Marc Verhaegen" <fa20...@skynet.be> wrote in message
news:3e10cd61$0$29627$ba62...@news.skynet.be...

No, STUPID, this is what he said:

Nowhere have I stated, either in print or on a public platform, or on the
media, that I support the AAH!

[..]

With best wishes,

Yours sincerely,

(Professor Emeritus) Phillip V. Tobias

Michael Clark

unread,
Dec 30, 2002, 7:37:47 PM12/30/02
to
"Marc Verhaegen" <fa20...@skynet.be> wrote in message
news:3e10b5a6$0$90219$ba62...@news.skynet.be...

>
> "Bob Keeter" <rke...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
> news:BA351CB0.23105%rke...@earthlink.net...
>
>
> >If Im reading this thread correctly, you cite a persons's "wisdom" in
> support of your theory
>
> Apparently you can't read.

[macro]

Nowhere have I stated, either in print or on a public platform, or on the
media, that I support the AAH!

[..]

With best wishes,

Yours sincerely,

(Professor Emeritus) Phillip V. Tobias

> I hope you know there's a difference between saying "SH is wrong" & "SH is
> not necessarily correct"

And we should take our reading comprehension clues from you?