neandertal snorkel

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Marc Verhaegen

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May 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/11/98
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Henk & Gerrit

Thank you very much for your homework & for the abundant information.
"De neusgaten zouden bij de Neanderthaler niet naar beneden, doch veel meer
naar voren gericht moeten zijn geweest!" (apparently the nostrils were not
directed downward, but much more forward) is even less affirmative than:
"les narines n'étaient pas dirigées de haut en bas, mais d'arrière en avant,
avec une légère inclinaison de haut en bas".
It indicates more apical nostrils (in agreement with the higher localisation
& the curiously protruding nasal bones of LaChapelle) than in modern humans.
When Hauser gives such detailed information, we have no reason whatsoever to
doubt him.

But your comments on the soft tissues are not correct:
"Des empreintes marquées dans la terre qui séparait les silex du squelette
indiquent encore les formes primitives de quelques-unes des parties molles"
means "The imprints in the ground that separated the silex stones from the
skeleton still show the original form of a few soft tissues".

Marc

Marc Verhaegen

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May 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/11/98
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Robert Gotschall
>> When I see ear exostoses, it's in a diver.
>> At least 99% of AEs are seen in swimmers.

>But are you looking at a population of humans living 'outside' with a
>climate comparable to the one in which the Neanderthal lived?

GE Kennedy 1986 The relationship between audit.exostoses & cold water: a
latitudinal analysis. AJPA 71:401-415: populations from all over the whole
world.

>Well you know what they say about big noses and big hands? But seriously,
what does snorkeling on your back have to do with diving? You are suggesting
that Neanderthal swam face up for such great lengths of time that large
protruding nostrils became a selective advantage. Do you think that they
dove for shells, then ate them while floating face up like sea otters?

Yes, that's a possiblity. Or else for breathing alone.

>> they're found next to molluscs, we may suppose that shellfish diving was
an important part of their existence.
>That's also the case for many remains of anatomically modern humans.

For some, not for many.

>So, that doesn't imply that H.erectus or H.neanderthalensis were any more
"aquatic" than we are.

We have the ear exostoses (only seen in long-term cold water divers) & the
very dense bones (only seen in slow bottom-diving mammals like sea-cows &
walruses).
And how many modern people could cross Gibraltar or Flores Strait?

>I could, if I had a floating tree to hold unto. Evolution does indicate
that we had ancestors who were really good at hanging onto trees. Besides,
they all had plenty of time to walk around the long way. Its not like they
had jobs or anything.
>The trouble is that semi-aquatics, seals, walruses and such, spend months
continuously in the water, and are very poor walkers.

Yes, no doubt our aquatic adaptations were less than those of pinnipeds.
But perhaps somewhat like those of sea otters.
Walruses & sea-otters (shellfish-eaters) frequently come ashore.
Sea-otters are no poor runners.

>You never see any of them more then a few miles from water. Crossing
Gibraltar on a raft by a Neanderthal is a piece of cake compared to walking
the length and breadth of Western Europe and Russia by any remotely
semi-aquatic mammal.

(Gibraltar & Flores Strait were already crossed by H.erectus.)
The Strait of Flores is not crossed by many mammals.
Why on a raft?

Marc

Gerrit Hanenburg

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May 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/12/98
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Marc Verhaegen <Marc.Ve...@village.uunet.be> wrote:

>Thank you very much for your homework & for the abundant information.
>"De neusgaten zouden bij de Neanderthaler niet naar beneden, doch veel meer
>naar voren gericht moeten zijn geweest!" (apparently the nostrils were not
>directed downward, but much more forward) is even less affirmative than:
>"les narines n'étaient pas dirigées de haut en bas, mais d'arrière en avant,
>avec une légère inclinaison de haut en bas".
>It indicates more apical nostrils (in agreement with the higher localisation
>& the curiously protruding nasal bones of LaChapelle) than in modern humans.

I would translate the original sentence as follows: "the nostrils were
not downward directed, but forwards, with a somewhat downward
inclination."
(FYI, the specimen of La Chapelle aux Saints does not preserve the
nasal bones except for a small piece at the root of the nose)

>When Hauser gives such detailed information, we have no reason whatsoever to
>doubt him.

Hauser writes, and I translate: "the nose had been protected by two
pieces of flint, one along the dorsum of the nose and the other along
the base. The position of the latter piece of flintstone, which is in
the form of a plaque (flat piece? GH), shows that the nostrils
...etc.(see above)".
The question is: how reliable is Hauser's interpretation of this
configuration?

>But your comments on the soft tissues are not correct:
>"Des empreintes marquées dans la terre qui séparait les silex du squelette
>indiquent encore les formes primitives de quelques-unes des parties molles"
>means "The imprints in the ground that separated the silex stones from the
>skeleton still show the original form of a few soft tissues".

Again, how reliable is Hauser's interpretation? What DID the imprints
show; the apex of the nose, the ala?
The problem is that the originial configuration is no longer available
for others to investigate, which denies us the possiblity of a second
opinion.
Let's assume that Hauser's interpretation is correct. To go from there
to "snorkel" is still a long way that is based on all kinds of other
assumptions with relation to the functional anatomy and ecology of
neandertals.

Gerrit

Marc Verhaegen

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May 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/12/98
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Gerrit Hanenburg > Let's assume that Hauser's interpretation is correct. To

go from there to "snorkel" is still a long way that is based on all kinds of
other assumptions with relation to the functional anatomy and ecology of
neandertals.


Of course, what Hauser said is not very important, but it fits all other
evidence:

The Research News article “Did Neandertals lose an evolutionary ‘arms’
race?” (1) is based upon the presupposition that Neandertals and modern
humans ‘hunted the same prey’, but this seems highly improbable.
There are two independent indications that Neandertals, more than modern
humans, relied on water resources. Mary Stiner, in a recent study of cave
sites in west-central Italy, showed that whereas most of the terrestrial
small species were prey elements in the diets of a variety of small
carnivores and raptors, most of the marine mollusks and turtles were
collected and eaten by Neandertals (2). This is confirmed by the presence of
extensive and bilateral auditory exostoses in Neandertal skulls such as
those of Shanidar I and La Chapelle-aux-Saints (3). Auditory exostoses, bony
swellings of the ear canal, a condition well-known to otolaryngologists,
occur exclusively as a direct result of long-term exposure to relatively
cold water (4), and are seen in all human populations that exploit either
marine or freshwater resources (usually shellfish) through diving in water
colder than about 18°C (3).
The finding of Eric Trinkaus and colleagues that Neandertals had much
stronger arm, but not leg, bones than modern humans (1) is compatible with
swimming habits or cracking shells with stones. The Neandertal longer and
more horizontal femoral necks (1), which facilitate thigh abduction and exo-
and endorotation (5), and their stockier build (1) are also compatible with
more frequent swimming.

1. A. Gibbons, Science 272, 1586 (1996).
2. M. C. Stiner, Honor among Thieves (Princeton University Press, 1995).
3. G. E. Kennedy, Am. J. Phys. Anthrop. 71, 401 (1986).
4. P. H. Rhys Evans, J. Laryng. Otol. 106, 214 (1992).
5. W. Spalteholz and R. Spanner, Handatlas der Anatomie des Menschen
(Scheltema en Holkema, Amsterdam, 1966), vol. 1, pp. 178-193.

I still can't see you problem with frequently diving H.erectus &
Neandertals.

Marc


Gerrit Hanenburg

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May 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/13/98
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Marc Verhaegen <Marc.Ve...@village.uunet.be> wrote:

Gerrit Hanenburg:
>Let's assume that Hauser's interpretation is correct. To
>go from there to "snorkel" is still a long way that is based on all kinds of
>other assumptions with relation to the functional anatomy and ecology of
>neandertals.

>Of course, what Hauser said is not very important, but it fits all other
>evidence:

>(1) is based upon the presupposition that Neandertals and modern


>humans ‘hunted the same prey’, but this seems highly improbable.
>There are two independent indications that Neandertals, more than modern
>humans, relied on water resources.

This is not correct.
In an extensive paleoecological study of the Mousterian sites in
Latium Steven Kuhn (1995) found (also on the basis of Stiner's
research) that, among all the sites studied, "evidence for hominid
exploitation of marine resources is confined to Grotta dei Moscerini"
(p.78) and "Shellfish were intensively exploited by late Pleistocene
and Holocene coastal foragers, but Mousterian populations in coastal
Latium seem to have made only casual use of them: marine mollusk
remains are found in significant numbers only at Grotta dei Moscerini,
and are not especially abundant even there" (p.151), and about this
latter site "although shells are present in appreciable numbers in
some levels, they are never sufficiently common to constitute a true
shell midden. In fact, if only hinges are considered, clam and mussel
shells are actually less abundant, on average, than stone
artifacts (Stiner 1994: table 6.12)." (p. 78).
Kuhn, S.L. 1995. Mousterian Lithic Technology: An Ecological
Perspective. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.



>Mary Stiner, in a recent study of cave
>sites in west-central Italy, showed that whereas most of the terrestrial
>small species were prey elements in the diets of a variety of small
>carnivores and raptors, most of the marine mollusks and turtles were

>collected and eaten by Neandertals.

"Mousterian hominids at Grotta dei Moscerini also sometimes utilized
two species of tortoise, one terrestrial (Testudo greaca) and one
aquatic (Emys orbicularis)." and "tortoise remains are confined to the
interior strata at the site, where they are found in both the
hominid-dominated (strata group 6) and hyaena-dominated levels (strata
group 5)" (p.78 in the above reference).
Only the turtle species of Cheloniidae and Dermochelyidae are marine.
Emys orbicularis (Emydidae) is found in fresh waters and can be caught
in knee deep water.

>(2). This is confirmed by the presence of extensive and bilateral auditory exostoses

>in Neandertal skulls such as those of Shanidar I and La Chapelle-aux-Saints.

Now here's the problem: How many of the known Neandertal specimens
show this condition? It has not been reported for any other specimen
besides Shanidar I and La Chapell-aux-Saints. If it is limited to
these two specimens then it seems that the condition was not frequent
in the population as whole. In that case it is unjustified to conclude
that the species was semi-aquatic on the basis of these specimens
alone without taking the population perspective into account.

>(3). Auditory exostoses, bony
>swellings of the ear canal, a condition well-known to otolaryngologists,
>occur exclusively as a direct result of long-term exposure to relatively

>cold water.

If that indeed is true it only tells us something about the
individuals Shanidar I and La Chapelle-aux-Saints. Without a
population frequency distribution it doesn't allow us to make
generalized conclusions with relation to Homo neanderthalensis as a
species.

>(4), and are seen in all human populations that exploit either
>marine or freshwater resources (usually shellfish) through diving in water
>colder than about 18°C (3).
>The finding of Eric Trinkaus and colleagues that Neandertals had much
>stronger arm, but not leg, bones than modern humans (1) is compatible with
>swimming habits or cracking shells with stones. The Neandertal longer and
>more horizontal femoral necks (1), which facilitate thigh abduction and exo-
>and endorotation (5), and their stockier build (1) are also compatible with
>more frequent swimming.

I already told you this before: these features are indeed COMPATIBLE
with swimming (as is red hair and light skin) but in no way is there
an exclusive causal relationship (if there is a causal relationship
anyway, which seems to be taken for granted by AAT proponents) between
these features and frequent swimming.
See:

Ruff, C.B. et al. 1993. Postcranial Robusticity in Homo I: Temporal
Trends and mechanical Interpretation. AJPA 91: 21-53.

Ruff, C.B. et al. 1994. Postcranial Robusticity in Homo II: Humeral
Bilateral Asymmetry and Bone Plasticity. AJPA 93: 1-34.

Ruff, C.B. et al. 1994. Postcranial Robusticity in Homo III: Ontogeny.
AJPA 93: 35-54

Trinkaus, E. 1993. Femoral neck-shaft angles of Qafzeh-Skhul early
modern humans, and activity levels among immature Near Eastern Middle
Paleolithic hominids. Journal of Human Evolution 25: 393-416.

>I still can't see you problem with frequently diving H.erectus &
>Neandertals.

I don't have a problem with Neandertals occasionally or regularly
swimming and diving and exploiting aquatic resources. If we can do it
why couldn't they? But to imply that they were more aquatic than
modern humans is not justified by the speculations of those people who
rather uncritically support some form of AAT.

Gerrit

Marc Verhaegen

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May 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/13/98
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Gerrit Hanenburg >Marc Verhaegen

>>There are two independent indications that Neandertals, more than modern
>>humans, relied on water resources.
>
>This is not correct.
>In an extensive paleoecological study of the Mousterian sites in Latium
Steven Kuhn (1995) found (also on the basis of Stiner's research) that,
among all the sites studied, "evidence for hominid exploitation of marine
resources is confined to Grotta dei Moscerini" (p.78) and "Shellfish were
intensively exploited by late Pleistocene and Holocene coastal foragers, but
Mousterian populations in coastal Latium seem to have made only casual use
of them: marine mollusk remains are found in significant numbers only at
Grotta dei Moscerini, and are not especially abundant even there" (p.151),
and about this latter site "although shells are present in appreciable
numbers in some levels, they are never sufficiently common to constitute a
true shell midden. In fact, if only hinges are considered, clam and mussel
shells are actually less abundant, on average, than stone artifacts (Stiner
1994: table 6.12)." (p. 78).
>Kuhn, S.L. 1995. Mousterian Lithic Technology: An Ecological Perspective.
Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.


Thanks for the information. Yes, this evidence is not unequivocal.
Sea-otters eat shellfish swimming on their backs & don't produce shell
middens.
Huge shell middens (up to 50 x 20 x 5 metres) are only found since
mesolithic H.sapiens (Danmark, Portugal, Oman...). Probably modern humans
didn't eat shellfish any more swimming, but on land.

>"Mousterian hominids at Grotta dei Moscerini also sometimes utilized two
species of tortoise, one terrestrial (Testudo greaca) and one aquatic (Emys
orbicularis)." and "tortoise remains are confined to the interior strata at
the site, where they are found in both the hominid-dominated (strata group
6) and hyaena-dominated levels (strata group 5)" (p.78 in the above
reference).
>Only the turtle species of Cheloniidae and Dermochelyidae are marine.
>Emys orbicularis (Emydidae) is found in fresh waters and can be caught in
knee deep water.
>
>>(2). This is confirmed by the presence of extensive and bilateral auditory
exostoses in Neandertal skulls such as those of Shanidar I and La
Chapelle-aux-Saints.
>Now here's the problem: How many of the known Neandertal specimens
>show this condition? It has not been reported for any other specimen
>besides Shanidar I and La Chapell-aux-Saints. If it is limited to
>these two specimens then it seems that the condition was not frequent
>in the population as whole. In that case it is unjustified to conclude
>that the species was semi-aquatic on the basis of these specimens
>alone without taking the population perspective into account.

We may assume that if Neandertals were well-adapted for diving, they sould
not show many diseases caused by diving. Both Shanidar-I & LaChapelle were
older males who only developed ear exostoses probably after more than 30
years of diving. As far as I know, ear exostoses are not found in female
Neandertals. This seems to suggest that the women seldom dived.

>>The finding of Eric Trinkaus and colleagues that Neandertals had much
stronger arm, but not leg, bones than modern humans (1) is compatible with
swimming habits or cracking shells with stones. The Neandertal longer and
more horizontal femoral necks (1), which facilitate thigh abduction and exo-
and endorotation (5), and their stockier build (1) are also compatible with
more frequent swimming.
>
>I already told you this before: these features are indeed COMPATIBLE
>with swimming

Okay

>I don't have a problem with Neandertals occasionally or regularly
>swimming and diving and exploiting aquatic resources.

Fine.

>If we can do it
>why couldn't they? But to imply that they were more aquatic than
>modern humans is not justified by the speculations of those people who
>rather uncritically support some form of AAT.

Do you support any form of AAT?

Again, it's a question of probabilities & coincidences. The independant (!)
indications of diving (extremely dense bones, ear exostoses, big external
nose & midfacial prognathism) strongly suggest that fossil Homo frequently
dived.
Probably Neandertal populations dived less often than many H.erectus
populations, but more often than most modern human populations.
Only the fact that all humans are capable of learning to dive shows that
human ancestors dived. You could always try to learn a cat or horse or
monkey to dive.

Marc

Dan Barnes

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May 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/14/98
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In article <6int8c$p8u$1...@xenon.inbe.net>,

"Marc Verhaegen" <Marc.Ve...@village.uunet.be> wrote:
>
> Gerrit Hanenburg >"Marc Verhaegen"
> >>There's no doubt among ENT specialists that ear exostoses occur
> "exclusively
> >>as a direct result of exposure to relatively cold water in swimmers" PH
> Rhys
> >>Evans 1992 J Laryng Otol 106:214-225.
> >>Hutchinson etc. don't question the cold water factor, but say it doesn't
> >>explain everything & discuss the mechanism of formation of AEs.
> >>This means AEs underestimate aquaticness, since AEs only develop in
cold
> >>water <18°C & perhaps only in some predisposed persons.
> >>The presence of AEs proves diving habits, their absence does not.
> >Hutchinson et al. (1997) clearly state that "Any pathological state
> >affecting the normal homeostasis of the external ear (e.g., otitis
> >externa, eczema, trauma, infection, and mechanical and chemical
> >irritation) may cause an auditory exostosis" and "cold water is not a
> >sufficient exclusive etiology for external auditory exostoses"
> >(p.421).
> Hutchinson etc.: "clinical investigators have demonstrated that swimming &
> other aquatic activities are associated with AEs". At least 99% of AEs are
> seen in swimmers.
> The cooling, maceration & pH changes of diving predispose to ekzema,
> infection & other complications which sometimes develop into AEs.
> >How do you know that Shanidar I and La Chapelle aux Saints didn't get
> >their EAE's through infection unrelated to cold water?
> Because clinically otitis externa never becomes an AE in non-divers.
> However, the presence of AEs in some Neandertals proves that they were not
> fully adapted for an aquatic lifestyle. They must have had a mixed
> lifestyle. Perhaps only the males dived (Shan.I & Chap. were probably males)
> & only in certain seasons.
> >
The correlation between divers and Neanderthals seems to be of a similar type
to that of Ns and rodeo riders (Berger and Trinkaus, 1995). Because the
nearest correlation of N pattern of injuries is the rodeo rider this need not imply
that they were engaged in exacatly the same activity but that they were engaged
in confrontations with large animals. Similarily if AE really correlates to exposure
to cold water and the only group currently doing this on a regular basis are
divers then this may only mean that Ns had less sophisticated techniques for
crossing rivers, etc. which would imply that they got the occasional dunking.
Modern populations have sophisticated sea craft and bridges and would tend
not to need to get in a situation (e.g. crossing a river hanging onto a tree trunk
and an animal carcass, say) where their head would be immersed - esp. true for
northerly latitude populations.

The correlation of divers and Ns to AE need not imply that both were engaged
in the same acivity just that they were both exposed to cold water - there is a big
difference.

> >>>Increased skeletal robusticity (if that is what you mean by "dense") in
> general is a
> >>>response to increased mechanical loading of the bone. (Ruff, C.B. et


> >>>al. 1993. Postcranial Robusticity in Homo I: Temporal Trends and

> >>>Mechanical Interpretation. Am. J. Phys. Anth. 91: 21-53)
> >
> >>I mean denser bone plus thicker cortex - typically seen in slow divers
> like
> >>walruses & sea-cows.
> >>Mechanical stress strengthens the bone & can explain localised
hypertrophy
> >>(right arm in tennis players) but not the general denser bone & thicker
> >>cortex.
> >Increased activity DOES result in an increase in overall skeletal
> >robusticity, almost certainly mediated by hormones.
> >See Lieberman, D.E. 1996. How and Why Humans Grow Thin Skulls:
> >Experimental Evidence for Systemic Cortical Robusticity. American
> >Journal of Physical Anthropology 101: 217-236.
> Yes, but Lieberman: "the hypothesis that differences in vault thicknes.. are
> attributable to local responses to loading form either running or chewing is
> neither rejected nor strongly supported" - "that systemic hormones are the
> primary cause of variation in CVT is not rejected but is instead partially
> supported".
> How does "overall skeletal robusticity" explain the localised occipital (vs
> frontal) skull thickening in H.erectus?

Activity and the related stress can cause bone remodelling (Abbot et al., 1996)
and there is still an ongoing debate about the degree of control the stress
produced by anterior tooth use (which we know occured) on cranial bone
thickness - so the arguement for stress induced thickening of the bone cannot
be dismissed so easily (Wolpoff covers the argument in his book 'Human
Evolution'), which is what Lieberman says.

> How much time exactly they spent in the water is of course unknown. But
> since we also know they crossed Gibraltar & Flores Strait,

No WE don't. I'm aware of NO evidence for the Gibraltar crossing and the
underlying assumptions of the Flores crossing has be criticised for a long time
(see Audley-Charles and Hooijer, 1973 as well as Azzaroli, 1981 for more
general arguments) with no way to resolve the issue (i.e. by mutually exclusive
predictions).

> their remains are
> found on seacoasts all over the Old World (Boxgrove, Terra Amata, Hopefield,
> Rabat, Mojokerto..) & they're found next to molluscs, we may suppose that


> shellfish diving was an important part of their existence.
>

To the best of my knowledge there are no human remains at Terra Amata.
Boxgrove is the site of large animal butchery. The presence of shellfish at
coastal sites is purely due to high sea level stands. The Tyrrhenian sea level
transgression is typified by the Spondylus (sp?) fauna which occurs in thick
deposits across the Med and correlates to the high sea level (4-5m) of OIS 5e. It
is of no suprise that coastal sites have thick concentrations of shellfish, etc. that
they are associated at some localities (but not at the vast majority) with
archaeological material is of little suprise either. Anyway most people would be
unsuprised if coastal peoples were not exploiting coastal resources - although
the evidence is poor. I'd like to see considerabley more evidence for middens
and tool marks on aquatic fauna - the evidence which has proved beyond doubt
that hominids did consume meat (whether scavenged or hunted), e.g. like the
evidence from Katanda.

Refs

Abbott, S., Trinkaus, E. & Burr, D.B. (1996) Dynamic bone remodelling in the
later Pleistocene fossil hominids. American Journal of Physical Anthropology.
99. 585 - 601.

Audley-Charles, M.G. & Hooijer, D.A. (1973) Relation of Pleistocene migrations
of pigmy Stegodonts to island arc tectonics in Eastern Indonesia. Nature. 241.
197 - 8.

Azzaroli, A. (1981) About pigmy mammoths of the Northern Channel Islands and
other island faunas. Quaternary Research. 16 (3). 423 - 5.

Berger, T.D. & Trinkaus, E. (1995) Patterns of trauma among the Neanderthals.
Journal of Archaeological Science. 22 (6). 841-52.


Dan Barnes

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May 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/15/98
to

In article <6jafm6$cms$1...@xenon.inbe.net>, Marc.Ve...@village.uunet.be
says...

>
>Gerrit Hanenburg > Let's assume that Hauser's interpretation is correct. To
>go from there to "snorkel" is still a long way that is based on all kinds of
>other assumptions with relation to the functional anatomy and ecology of
>neandertals.
>
>Of course, what Hauser said is not very important, but it fits all other
>evidence:
>
In fact if what he said was what you claim he said then it would be very important
and would be the major clinching piece of evidence for your hypothesis -
unfortunately Hauser didn't find a N nose.

>The Research News article “Did Neandertals lose an evolutionary ‘arms’

> race?” (1) is based upon the presupposition that Neandertals and modern


>humans ‘hunted the same prey’, but this seems highly improbable.

Despite all the evidence.

>There are two independent indications that Neandertals, more than modern
>humans, relied on water resources.

Unfortunately stable isotope analysis (Fizet et al., 1995) shows this not to be
true - they may have relied on aquatic resources but the overwhelming evidence
suggest they mainly subsisted on large land animals i.e. the same niche that
modern humans also occupied which is why Ns became extinct as they were
outcompeted for resources. If they occupied different niches then it is probable
that the Ns would have survived to this day - to the best of my knowledge they
didn't.

> Mary Stiner, in a recent study of cave
>sites in west-central Italy, showed that whereas most of the terrestrial
>small species were prey elements in the diets of a variety of small
>carnivores and raptors, most of the marine mollusks and turtles were

>collected and eaten by Neandertals (2).

You are choosing the parts of Stiner's study that siut you and ignoring the bits
that don't. So the Ns exploited aquatic resources at this one site (Guattari if I
remember correctly) - however she also found evidence that Ns were also
eating meat. The fact that Ns were exploiting marine resources (esp. at the
coastal sites) is of no suprise to anyone (its even mentioned in Stringer and
Gamble's In Search of the Neanderthals), however, the vast majority of evidence
shows that Ns mainly exploited land animals.

>This is confirmed by the presence of
>extensive and bilateral auditory exostoses in Neandertal skulls such as

>those of Shanidar I and La Chapelle-aux-Saints (3). Auditory exostoses, bony


>swellings of the ear canal, a condition well-known to otolaryngologists,

>occur exclusively as a direct result of long-term exposure to relatively
>cold water (4), and are seen in all human populations that exploit either


>marine or freshwater resources (usually shellfish) through diving in water
>colder than about 18°C (3).

What this proves (as I've said in a previous post) is that Ns were exposed to
cold water - not that they were neccesarily divers.

>The finding of Eric Trinkaus and colleagues that Neandertals had much
>stronger arm, but not leg, bones than modern humans (1) is compatible with
>swimming habits or cracking shells with stones.

I'm not sure why you would need very strong arms to crack shells with stones. Of
the top of my head I can't think of studies of the legs (although Ruff et al., 1993
may contain the info - I'll check later) but studies of the Neanderthal foot show
signs of considerable loading (Trinkaus and Hilton, 1996).

>The Neandertal longer and
>more horizontal femoral necks (1), which facilitate thigh abduction and exo-
>and endorotation (5),

The femoral neck shaft angle is an indication of levels of (upright and
landbased, I assume) acivity (Trinkaus, 1993).

>and their stockier build (1) are also compatible with
>more frequent swimming.
>

Their stockier build is an adaptation to the Ice Age climate (Holliday, 1997a, b;
Holliday and Falsetti, 1995; Holliday and Trinkaus, 1991; Ruff, 1991, 1993,
1994).

>1. A. Gibbons, Science 272, 1586 (1996).
>2. M. C. Stiner, Honor among Thieves (Princeton University Press, 1995).
>3. G. E. Kennedy, Am. J. Phys. Anthrop. 71, 401 (1986).
>4. P. H. Rhys Evans, J. Laryng. Otol. 106, 214 (1992).
>5. W. Spalteholz and R. Spanner, Handatlas der Anatomie des Menschen
>(Scheltema en Holkema, Amsterdam, 1966), vol. 1, pp. 178-193.
>

>I still can't see you problem with frequently diving H.erectus &
>Neandertals.
>

Unfortunately I see big problems - like lack of uneqivocal evidence.

Refs

Fizet, M., Mariotti, A., Bocherens, H., Langebadre, B., Vandermeersch, B.,
Borel, J.P. & Bellon, G. (1995) Effect of diet, physiology and climate on carbon
and nitrogen stable isotopes of collagen in a late Pleistocene anthropic
palaeoecosystem: Marillac, Charente, France. Journal of Archaeological
Science. 22 (1). 67 - 79.

Holliday, T.W. (1997a) Body proportions in Late Pleistocene Europe and
modern human origins. Journal of Human Evolution. 32 (5). 423 - 48.

Holliday, T.W. (1997b) Postcranial evidence of cold adaptation in European
Neandertals. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 104 (2). 245 - 58.

Holliday, T.W. & Falsetti, A.B. (1995) Lower limb length of European early
modern humans in relation to mobility and climate. Journal of Human Evolution.
29 (2). 141 - 53.

Holliday, T.W. & Trinkaus, E. (1991) Limb/trunk proportions in Neandertals and
early anatomically modern humans. American Journal of Physical Anthropology
(Supplement). 12. 93 - 4.

Ruff, C.B. (1991) Climate and body shape in hominid evolution. Journal of
Human Evolution. 21. 81 - 105.

Ruff, C.B. (1993) Climatic adaptation and hominid evolution: The
thermoregulatory imperative. Evolutionary Anthropology. 2 (2). 53 - 60.

Ruff, C.B. (1994) Morphological adaptation to climate in modern and fossil
hominids. Yearbook of Physical Anthropology. 37. 65 - 107.

Ruff, C.B., Trinkaus, E., Walker, A. & Larsen, C.S. (1993) Postcranial robusticity
in Homo. I: Temporal trends and mechanical interpretation. American Journal of
Physical Anthropology. 91 (1). 21 - 53.

Trinkaus, E. (1993) Femoral neck-shaft angles in the Skhul and Qafzeh early

modern humans, and activity levels among immature Near Eastern Middle

Paleolithic hominids. Journal of Human Evolution. 25 (3). 393 - 416.

Trinkaus, E. & Hilton, C.E. (1996) Neandertal pedal proximal phalanges:
Diaphyseal loading patterns. Journal of Human Evolution. 30. 399 - 425.


Marc Verhaegen

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May 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/15/98
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>to cold water and the only group currently doing this on a regular basis
are
>divers then this may only mean that Ns had less sophisticated techniques
for
>crossing rivers, etc. which would imply that they got the occasional
dunking.

Crossing rivers (=swimming) does not cause ear exostoses.


>To the best of my knowledge there are no human remains at Terra Amata.

Remains = skeletons, footprints, left-overs of diet..

Marc Verhaegen

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May 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/15/98
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Ear exostoses are seen in divers. Why would Neandertals dive for if not for
food??

Very dense bones are seen in slow-diving mammals: walrus, sea-cows,
Odobenocetops, Kolponomos.

It's simple, isn't? Both features, independently, give the same results.

Why looking for obscure explanations? Ruff etc. haven't used comparative
evidence.
Why do you think that humans/neandertals are/were different from other
mammals?
See humans as just another mammal. You need no exceptions.

How do you explain that erectus had denser bones than neandertals, & that
both had denser bones than modern humans, australopiths & all other
primates?

Of course, neandertals might have hunted, or gathered salmon, or collected
plants.
This doesn't exclude diving.

Anne Gilbert

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May 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/15/98
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In a previous article, Marc.Ve...@village.uunet.be ("Marc Verhaegen") says:

>8.43.192.17!rill.news.pipex.net!pipex!join.news.pipex.net!pipex!krypton.inbe.net!INbe.net!not-for-mail
>
>Gerrit Hanenburg >Marc Verhaegen


>
>Thanks for the information. Yes, this evidence is not unequivocal.
>Sea-otters eat shellfish swimming on their backs & don't produce shell
>middens.
>Huge shell middens (up to 50 x 20 x 5 metres) are only found since
>mesolithic H.sapiens (Danmark, Portugal, Oman...). Probably modern humans
>didn't eat shellfish any more swimming, but on land.

Well, that's interesting information about shell middens. The only
trouble with you comment about sea otters is --- they *routinely* swim on
their backs, especially while carrying young or eating sea urchis ---
their favorite food. We don't. And, from what evidence there is, I
don't think Neandertals did, either, although it is perfectly possible
they utilized marine and aquatic resources from time to time. After all,
they had perfectly good brains and they were perfectly intelligent. And
as for the Shanidar and La Chapelle fossils, the first had extensive
injuries, plus arthritis, and La Chapelle had extensive arthritis and had
lost all but two of his teeth. So I don't think you can prove any theory
from these Neandertals, much less compare them to sea otters.
Anne Gilbdert
--
Anne Gilbert
keb...@scn.org, avgi...@hotmail.com
Visit my website at http://members.tripod.com/~kebara and read about my
Great Science Fiction Masterpiece

Gerrit Hanenburg

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May 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/16/98
to

Marc Verhaegen <Marc.Ve...@village.uunet.be> wrote:

>Thanks for the information. Yes, this evidence is not unequivocal.
>Sea-otters eat shellfish swimming on their backs & don't produce shell
>middens.
>Huge shell middens (up to 50 x 20 x 5 metres) are only found since
>mesolithic H.sapiens (Danmark, Portugal, Oman...). Probably modern humans
>didn't eat shellfish any more swimming, but on land.

So, are you suggesting that neandertals consumed their shellfish in
the water, floating on their backs like sea otters?
It seems they were hardly adapted to do that: their "dense" bones
would constantly cause them to sink and the few cubic centimeters of
air in their para-nasal sinuses would hardly add anything to the
buoyancy of their robust crania.
(the "buoyancy theory" is one of the least plausible theories with
relation to pneumaticity (contra Rhys Evans, 1992). See Witmer (1997)
for a review of theories concerning the function of pneumaticity and a
new perspective).

Refs:

Witmer, L.M. 1997. "The evolution of the antorbital cavity of
archosaurs: a study in soft-tissue reconstruction in the fossil record
with an analysis of the function of pneumaticity". Society of
Vertebrate Paleontology Memoir 3: 1-73.
(Although the emphasis in this paper is on archosaurs, the general
sections are of interest to paleoanthopologists too).

Rhys Evans, P.H. 1992. "The paranasal sinuses and other enigmas: an
aquatic evolutionary theory." Journal of Laryngology and Otology 106:
214-225.

>>Now here's the problem: How many of the known Neandertal specimens
>>show this condition? It has not been reported for any other specimen
>>besides Shanidar I and La Chapell-aux-Saints. If it is limited to
>>these two specimens then it seems that the condition was not frequent
>>in the population as whole. In that case it is unjustified to conclude
>>that the species was semi-aquatic on the basis of these specimens
>>alone without taking the population perspective into account.

>We may assume that if Neandertals were well-adapted for diving, they sould


>not show many diseases caused by diving. Both Shanidar-I & LaChapelle were
>older males who only developed ear exostoses probably after more than 30
>years of diving. As far as I know, ear exostoses are not found in female
>Neandertals. This seems to suggest that the women seldom dived.

We may also hypothesize that ear exostoses in these two specimens was
a kind of "occupational disease", absent in the other specimens
because they didn't have the same way of life. In that case it seems
the other two were not well-adapted to their "occupation".



>Do you support any form of AAT?

No.

>Again, it's a question of probabilities & coincidences. The independant (!)
>indications of diving (extremely dense bones, ear exostoses, big external
>nose & midfacial prognathism) strongly suggest that fossil Homo frequently
>dived.

If each of these traits independently is not evidence for
(semi)aquaticness, then adding them up doesn't improve the case.
Only ear exostoses may be an indication of frequent cold water
contact, but the condition is also found relatively frequently in
coastal populations of modern humans which we don't even remotely
consider (semi)aquatic.
About the "dense" bones: how exactly do you define dense? Do you mean
some measure of the amount of bone mineral per unit volume?
If yes, how did you determine that neandertals had a higher bone
mineral density than modern humans?

>Probably Neandertal populations dived less often than many H.erectus
>populations, but more often than most modern human populations.
>Only the fact that all humans are capable of learning to dive shows that
>human ancestors dived. You could always try to learn a cat or horse or
>monkey to dive.

Humans are capable of learning a lot of things our ancestors didn't
do, like riding a bike, driving a car, writing a letter, playing
chess, etc.,etc. You could always try to learn a cat or horse or
monkey to do that.

Gerrit

Marc Verhaegen

unread,
May 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/16/98
to

Gerrit Hanenburg

>Marc Verhaegen <Marc.Ve...@village.uunet.be> wrote:
>
>So, are you suggesting that neandertals consumed their shellfish in
>the water, floating on their backs like sea otters?

The external nose with more apical nostrils, the paranasal sinuses
(neand.>erectus) & thick occipital bones (erectus>neand.) all tend to keep
the nose entrance at the water surface as high as possible. After leaving
the water, aquatic adaptations are not any more selected for & may
disappear. Their presence in neand. & erectus suggests that they were still
(partly) aquatic (as confirmed by the ear exostoses) or at least "recently"
ex-aquatic.

>It seems they were hardly adapted to do that: their "dense" bones
>would constantly cause them to sink and the few cubic centimeters of
>air in their para-nasal sinuses would hardly add anything to the
>buoyancy of their robust crania.

No. See CT scans of skulls.


Read Verhaegen 1991 Aquatic features in fossil hominids? M Roede ed. The
aquatic ape: fact or fiction? Souvenir London.
Slow diving species are very fat. The dense bones have to compensate for the
thick fat layers. Density of fat tissues = ca.0.95; sea water = 1.02; mean
density in diving species is always that of the medium (surface feeders have
densities of <1; bottom feeding fish have densities >1)
There are 4 distinct situations for shellfish-divers when in the water:
- collecting at the bottom (probably more than half of total "water time")
- ascent
- breathing & perhaps feeding at the surface (shorter than the bottom phase)
- descent.
(Comparative studies, physiological data (Schagatay), length of apnea
periods & of the short nasal cycle suggest that this diving cycle was
somewhere between 1 & 3 minutes - possibly non constant throughout
evolution.)
Mean density is constant (most divers seem to exhale before descending, and
you cannot inhale while under water). The division of densities throughout
the body must not be uniform. Black people are bad swimmers/divers because
their legs are too heavy & they are too lean. The mean density of the head
must be that of the rest of the body, but when the front is light (air
sinuses, density ca.0) & the rear is dense (occiput) you will always surface
with your nose first.
That skeleton density in neandertals (larger sinuses) is generally lower
than in erectus (denser bones), must be correlated by generally dwelling
more in freshwater milieus (density=1). This fits the paleontol.data.
Probably neandertals were erectus populations that left the coasts & invaded
the inland following the rivers. Ultimately some populations may have left
their diving lifestyle completely & only waded (salmon...), hunted or
gathered land plants.

>Witmer, L.M. 1997. "The evolution of the antorbital cavity of
>archosaurs: a study in soft-tissue reconstruction in the fossil record
>with an analysis of the function of pneumaticity". Society of
>Vertebrate Paleontology Memoir 3: 1-73.
>(Although the emphasis in this paper is on archosaurs, the general
>sections are of interest to paleoanthopologists too).

Gerrit, you seem to be extremely well-read. I have no access to this paper.
Could you please send me copies of the relevant pages?

>If each of these traits independently is not evidence for
>(semi)aquaticness, then adding them up doesn't improve the case.

Think logically. Not adding, but multiplying the chances of being
not-aquatic.


>>Do you support any form of AAT?
>
>No.

Then I would like to see your scenario of human evolution???

>
>>Probably Neandertal populations dived less often than many H.erectus
>>populations, but more often than most modern human populations.
>>Only the fact that all humans are capable of learning to dive shows that
>>human ancestors dived. You could always try to learn a cat or horse or
>>monkey to dive.
>
>Humans are capable of learning a lot of things our ancestors didn't
>do, like riding a bike, driving a car, writing a letter, playing
>chess, etc.,etc. You could always try to learn a cat or horse or
>monkey to do that.

No nonsense please. We're talking about diving. Otters, seals & sealions
must learn to dive (there even is a sensitive period, as in humans).
Monkeys, cats & horses cannot.


Marc

Marc Verhaegen

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May 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/16/98
to

Anne Gilbert >>Gerrit Hanenburg >Marc Verhaegen

>>
>>Thanks for the information. Yes, this evidence is not unequivocal.
>>Sea-otters eat shellfish swimming on their backs & don't produce shell
>>middens.
>>Huge shell middens (up to 50 x 20 x 5 metres) are only found since
>>mesolithic H.sapiens (Danmark, Portugal, Oman...). Probably modern
>>humans didn't eat shellfish any more swimming, but on land.
>
>Well, that's interesting information about shell middens. The only
>trouble with your comment about sea otters is --- they *routinely* swim on

>their backs, especially while carrying young or eating sea urchis ---
>their favorite food. We don't.
Floating on your back requires less energy than swimming at the surface.

>And, from what evidence there is, I
>don't think Neandertals did, either, although it is perfectly possible
>they utilized marine and aquatic resources from time to time. After all,
>they had perfectly good brains and they were perfectly intelligent. And
>as for the Shanidar and La Chapelle fossils, the first had extensive
>injuries, plus arthritis, and La Chapelle had extensive arthritis and had
>lost all but two of his teeth.

They were not young any more (though I'm probably older), but their
arthritis or injuries or tooth loss don't influence their ear exostoses.
Tooth loss is fatal for a carnivore, not for a shellfish-eater. (Many
shellfish/squid etc.-eating species are edentate.)

Marc

Phillip Bigelow

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May 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/16/98
to

Marc Verhaegen wrote:
> >>Do you support any form of AAT?

> Gerrit Hanenburg wrote:

> >No.

Marc Verhaegen wrote:
> Then I would like to see your scenario of human evolution???


Excuse me for jumping in here, but what do you mean by "scenario"
in this context? By "scenario", do you mean a singular holistic
("umbrella-hypothesis") explaination of modern human character traits
(similar to the hypothesis-structure of the AAT(H))?

Or do you mean "scenarioS" (plural), in a context of gradual
evolutionary adaption through time, involving both various, and
disparate, evolutionary pressures (and therefore, involving many individual
hypotheses) (in essence, the past and current scientific view
of hominid evolution).

<pb>
--
remove "X" for e-mail.
http://www.scn.org/~bh162/index.html

Gerrit Hanenburg

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May 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/17/98
to

Marc Verhaegen <Marc.Ve...@village.uunet.be> wrote:

>>So, are you suggesting that neandertals consumed their shellfish in
>>the water, floating on their backs like sea otters?

>The external nose with more apical nostrils, the paranasal sinuses
>(neand.>erectus) & thick occipital bones (erectus>neand.) all tend to keep
>the nose entrance at the water surface as high as possible. After leaving
>the water, aquatic adaptations are not any more selected for & may
>disappear. Their presence in neand. & erectus suggests that they were still
>(partly) aquatic (as confirmed by the ear exostoses) or at least "recently"
>ex-aquatic.

>>It seems they were hardly adapted to do that: their "dense" bones
>>would constantly cause them to sink and the few cubic centimeters of
>>air in their para-nasal sinuses would hardly add anything to the
>>buoyancy of their robust crania.

>No. See CT scans of skulls.

Well, I perform these almost routinely. Tell me we what I don't know.
A rough estimate of the total volume of paranasal sinuses is
ca. 120 cc. How much buoyant force is generated by such a volume of
displaced water do you think?

>Read Verhaegen 1991 Aquatic features in fossil hominids? M Roede ed. The
>aquatic ape: fact or fiction? Souvenir London.
>Slow diving species are very fat. The dense bones have to compensate for the
>thick fat layers. Density of fat tissues = ca.0.95; sea water = 1.02; mean
>density in diving species is always that of the medium (surface feeders have
>densities of <1; bottom feeding fish have densities >1)

So, you assume that Neandertals were fat? How do you make such a soft
tissue inference?

>There are 4 distinct situations for shellfish-divers when in the water:
>- collecting at the bottom (probably more than half of total "water time")
>- ascent
>- breathing & perhaps feeding at the surface (shorter than the bottom phase)
>- descent.
>(Comparative studies, physiological data (Schagatay), length of apnea
>periods & of the short nasal cycle suggest that this diving cycle was
>somewhere between 1 & 3 minutes - possibly non constant throughout
>evolution.)
>Mean density is constant (most divers seem to exhale before descending, and
>you cannot inhale while under water). The division of densities throughout
>the body must not be uniform. Black people are bad swimmers/divers because
>their legs are too heavy & they are too lean.

???
I thought we were long past the time of making that kind of
generalisations in anthropology.
Some black people are swimmers at the olympic level.

>The mean density of the head
>must be that of the rest of the body, but when the front is light (air
>sinuses, density ca.0) & the rear is dense (occiput) you will always surface
>with your nose first.

That depends on your swimming position. Most vertebrates swim and dive
habitually in a prone position. If Neandertals were no exception to
that rule then the nose would surface first only if the neck was
hyperextended beyond what seems possible. Of course AAT scenarios make
the strange exception that Neandertals swam habitually on their backs,
ignoring most of the comparative evidence.



>That skeleton density in neandertals (larger sinuses) is generally lower
>than in erectus (denser bones), must be correlated by generally dwelling
>more in freshwater milieus (density=1). This fits the paleontol.data.

HOW does this fit the paleontological data?
How do you determine bone density in fossils?

>Probably neandertals were erectus populations that left the coasts & invaded
>the inland following the rivers. Ultimately some populations may have left
>their diving lifestyle completely & only waded (salmon...), hunted or
>gathered land plants.

>>>Do you support any form of AAT?
>>No.

>Then I would like to see your scenario of human evolution???

I have no unity scenario for all of human evolution. Instead I have
hypotheses with relation to different aspects of it.
I prefer to see these hypotheses tested instead of confirmed sensu
Karl Popper in "It is easy to obtain confirmations, or verifications,
for nearly every theory - if we look for confirmations", which seems
to be the approach of AAT proponents.

>>Humans are capable of learning a lot of things our ancestors didn't
>>do, like riding a bike, driving a car, writing a letter, playing
>>chess, etc.,etc. You could always try to learn a cat or horse or
>>monkey to do that.

>No nonsense please. We're talking about diving. Otters, seals & sealions
>must learn to dive (there even is a sensitive period, as in humans).
>Monkeys, cats & horses cannot.

There is a point here, Marc, if you think. The fact that we can learn
certain behaviours, such as swimming and diving, is no evidence that
that behaviour was part of the behavioural repertoire of our
ancestors. To state otherwise is the nonsense.

Gerrit

Woodie O. Pugh

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May 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/17/98
to

Gerrit Hanenburg wrote in message <355d5d5a...@news.kijfhoek.nl.net>...

>...their "dense" bones would constantly cause them to sink...

As an ex-diving instructor, I can verify with empirical certainty that
Mr. Neandertal would have worn himself out trying to stay afloat.
His massive skeleton would have made him sink like a stone. This
would have been an asset when submerging, but returning to the
surface would have been a nightmare. Its not unusual for heavy
boned moderns to be disproportionately afraid of the water from an
early age, which leads me to suspect H. Neandertalensis would
have had little inclination to experiment in the water.

His stocky build is a lousy shape from a hydrodynamic standpoint.
As any free-diver (mask, snorkel, and fins only) knows, a lean,
streamlined build is the optimum body type for free-diving. Though
lean people tend to sink when resting on the surface, the speed with
which they can dive and resurface is a worthwhile trade-off. Also, people
with a heavy build usually have less bottom time than those with a lean
build, because they have more tissues to support and more mass to
propel, thereby using more oxygen. They have proportionately larger
lungs, but in *practice* it doesn't equal things out in the water, as it
does on land.

I'd hate to have the task of teaching a Neandertal to swim. Experience
tells me I would have a panic-ridden freak on my hands, and "panic" is
the number one cause of diving fatalities.

Woodie O. Pugh

To reply, change anti-spam xxx to ktn


Marc Verhaegen

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May 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/17/98
to

Gerrit Hanenburg >Marc Verhaegen >

>>The external nose with more apical nostrils, the paranasal sinuses
>>(neand.>erectus) & thick occipital bones (erectus>neand.) all tend to keep
>>the nose entrance at the water surface as high as possible. After leaving
>>the water, aquatic adaptations are not any more selected for & may
>>disappear. Their presence in neand. & erectus suggests that they were
still
>>(partly) aquatic (as confirmed by the ear exostoses) or at least
"recently"
>>ex-aquatic.
>
>>See CT scans of skulls.
>
>Well, I perform these almost routinely. Tell me we what I don't know.
See all the air paranasally. If its volume is 1% of the skull or more, it's
very significant.

>A rough estimate of the total volume of paranasal sinuses is
>ca. 120 cc. How much buoyant force is generated by such a volume of
>displaced water do you think?

What is the volume of the skull?

(Years ago, Jos Verhulst, a correspondent of mine, made a calculation that
if you added 50cc of air to a sphere of 3000cc=3kg, this sphere woud rise
14mm. Together with the length of the proboscis (2cm?) & with the protruding
midface (>1cm?) this would result in 4-5cm - extremely important for a
beginning diver. Moreover, the sinuses would secure that the nostrils
surfaced first.)

>>Read Verhaegen 1991 Aquatic features in fossil hominids? pp. 75-112 in M


Roede ed. The
>>aquatic ape: fact or fiction? Souvenir London.
>>Slow diving species are very fat. The dense bones have to compensate for
the
>>thick fat layers. Density of fat tissues = ca.0.95; sea water = 1.02; mean
>>density in diving species is always that of the medium (surface feeders
have
>>densities of <1; bottom feeding fish have densities >1)
>
>So, you assume that Neandertals were fat? How do you make such a soft
>tissue inference?

Species with very thick bone cortex are slow divers. Slow diving species are
very fat.
(And all Channel swimmers are grossly fat. The same is true for shellfish
diving humans. See discussion in Verhaegen 1991 Human regulation of body
temperature... pp.182-192 in Roede ed. op.cit.)

>>There are 4 distinct situations for shellfish-divers when in the water:
>>- collecting at the bottom (probably more than half of total "water time")
>>- ascent
>>- breathing & perhaps feeding at the surface (shorter than the bottom
phase)
>>- descent.
>>(Comparative studies, physiological data (Schagatay), length of apnea
>>periods & of the short nasal cycle suggest that this diving cycle was

>>somewhere between 1 & 3 minutes - possibly not constant throughout


>>evolution.)
>>Mean density is constant (most divers seem to exhale before descending,
and
>>you cannot inhale while under water). The division of densities throughout
>>the body must not be uniform. Black people are bad swimmers/divers because
>>their legs are too heavy & they are too lean.

>Some black people are swimmers at the olympic level.
Very few. See J Ghesquiere & H Bunkens 1991 The burden of locomotion in
water... pp.255-262 in M Roede ed. op.cit.

>>The mean density of the head
>>must be that of the rest of the body, but when the front is light (air
>>sinuses, density ca.0) & the rear is dense (occiput) you will always
surface
>>with your nose first.

>That depends on your swimming position. Most vertebrates swim and dive
>habitually in a prone position. If Neandertals were no exception to
>that rule then the nose would surface first only if the neck was
>hyperextended beyond what seems possible.

But: slightly more dorsal foramen magnum, +- less basicranial flexion, +-
higher eyes & esp.nose, face in front of brain instead of underneath. All
these features turned the nose & eyes somewhat more cranially than in modern
humans.
(In fact, it's the other way round. When modern humans got their modern
walking posture, they had to turn their eyes more ventrally, in order not to
look at the sky. This was achieved through a combination of small changes:
eyes underneath the brain, for.magnum +- more ventrally, more basicranial
flexion...)

>Of course AAT scenarios make
>the strange exception that Neandertals swam habitually on their backs,
>ignoring most of the comparative evidence.

Sea otters (beginning shellfish-eaters, also stone users)

>>That skeleton density in neandertals (larger sinuses) is generally lower
>>than in erectus (denser bones), must be correlated by generally dwelling
>>more in freshwater milieus (density=1). This fits the paleontol.data.

>How does this fit the paleontological data?
H.erectus is more often found at sea coasts than neandertals.

>How do you determine bone density in fossils?

Bone cortex/medulla.

>>Probably neandertals were erectus populations that left the coasts &
invaded
>>the inland following the rivers. Ultimately some populations may have left
>>their diving lifestyle completely & only waded (salmon...), hunted or
>>gathered land plants.
>
>>>>Do you support any form of AAT?
>>>No.

Then what do you support?

>I have no unity scenario for all of human evolution.

Please try. There's only 1 scenario for human evolution (= gradually
changing lifestyle) but there might be different hypotheses (of which only 1
is correct).
(eg, predom.arboreal > knuckle-walking > bipedality etc. or frugivore >
omnivore > hunting > agriculture etc. or arboreal > savanna-running >
...???)
Australopiths, apes.. of course have different histories.


>>>Humans are capable of learning a lot of things our ancestors didn't
>>>do, like riding a bike, driving a car, writing a letter, playing
>>>chess, etc.,etc. You could always try to learn a cat or horse or
>>>monkey to do that.
>
>>No nonsense please. We're talking about diving. Otters, seals & sealions
>>must learn to dive (there even is a sensitive period, as in humans).
>>Monkeys, cats & horses cannot.
>
>There is a point here, Marc, if you think. The fact that we can learn
>certain behaviours, such as swimming and diving, is no evidence that
>that behaviour was part of the behavioural repertoire of our
>ancestors. To state otherwise is the nonsense.

No. Otters, seals etc. also have to learn to dive. Cats... can't. Human
babies learn it automatically (in a sensitive period - later it becomes more
difficult, but not impossible). We're made to (learn to) dive. Which cat can
hold its breath for 2 minutes?
Read E Schagatay 1996 The human diving response - effects of temperature &
training. Univ.Lund, Dept.Animal Physiology

Marc

Marc Verhaegen

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May 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/17/98
to

Woodie O. Pugh > Gerrit Hanenburg wrote in message

>>...their "dense" bones would constantly cause them to sink...
>
>As an ex-diving instructor, I can verify with empirical certainty that
>Mr. Neandertal would have worn himself out trying to stay afloat.
>His massive skeleton would have made him sink like a stone. This
>would have been an asset when submerging, but returning to the
>surface would have been a nightmare. Its not unusual for heavy
>boned moderns to be disproportionately afraid of the water from an
>early age, which leads me to suspect H. Neandertalensis would
>have had little inclination to experiment in the water.

Sea-cows & walruses have massive skeletons & don't have nightmares to
suface.
Mr Neandertals was very fat.

Marc

JTHURB

unread,
May 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/18/98
to

Marc V. said:

> Black people are bad swimmers/divers because
>>their legs are too heavy & they are too lean.

And Gerrit H. commented:


>???
>I thought we were long past the time of making that kind of
>generalisations in anthropology.

Are we confused here? We don't safely make "that kind" of generalization in
politics anymore, but we certainly infer generalizations from the data we
gather in the sciences.

About thirty years ago, there was a very well-known Georgia Tech swimming coach
who developed a self life-saving method for staying afloat which he called
"drownproofing." Basically, it was a jelly-fish float punctuated periodically
by turning the head to one side to grab a fresh breath. I taught it to my
diving students many years later and often demonstrated it after handcuffing my
hands behind my back. The coach, whose name now eludes me, often had some
students who-although they did not know how to swim-could stay afloat well over
12 hours using this technique.

Observing his students, he came up with several "generalizations" with respect
to racial differences. The following were reported in a pamphlet entitled
DROWNPROOFING and are based on observations made in fresh water:

1. 84% of all white males are positively buoyant.
2. 98% of all white females are positively
buoyant.
3. 70% of all black males are negatively buoyant.

I don't recall the figure given for black females, nor do I guarantee the exact
correctness of the figures above, but I think they are near enough to reinforce
the gist of Verhaegen's assertions, i.e., blacks generally don't swim all that
well. Most black swimmers have to waste some component of their energy just to
stay afloat. This often causes an initial unpleasant experience for some black
youngsters many of whom, sadly, never overcome their fear of the water. Yes,
some do swim at the Olympic level, but their names are conspicuously absent
from the record books, mainly-I would guess-because so few try.

John Thurber


1.

Gerrit Hanenburg

unread,
May 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/18/98
to

jth...@aol.com (JTHURB) wrote:

And we should take this pamphlet, that obviously nobody can reproduce,
as scientific evidence? We know next to nothing about the materials
and methods used by this "innominate" coach.
At best you have some dubious anecdotal evidence here that, from a
scientific point of view, is worth shit.
Try again.

Gerrit

Dan Barnes

unread,
May 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/18/98
to

In article <6jiaeh$okm$1...@xenon.inbe.net>, Marc.Ve...@village.uunet.be
says...

>
>>to cold water and the only group currently doing this on a regular basis
>are
>>divers then this may only mean that Ns had less sophisticated techniques
>for
>>crossing rivers, etc. which would imply that they got the occasional
>dunking.
>
>Crossing rivers (=swimming) does not cause ear exostoses.
>
It could suggest that with less efficient means of crossing rivers they were more
prone to getting submerged and getting cold water in the ears. As far as I was
aware (and I can go and check) AE is largely thought to be linked to exposure to
cold water not specifically to diving. Since divers are the only people today who
expose themselves to cold water it is not suprising that they have a higher
incidence of AE - this in no way means that Ns were diving (although it is one of
the possibilities - see above for another). However, if AE is linked to diving that
is a different kettle of fish. If Ns were driving large mammals of cliffs, hunting
them at close quarters with spears, scavenging parts of animals before other
animals, potentially exploiting aquatic resources, etc. then they may have also
dived for other aquatic resources (this needn't imply they were adapted for an
aquatic life though). Unfortunately the link between AE and diving (rather than
purely with cold water) is, in my opinion, one step to far in the chain of logic.

>
>>To the best of my knowledge there are no human remains at Terra Amata.
>
>Remains = skeletons, footprints, left-overs of diet..
>
OK - to the best of my knowledge there are no skeletons, footprints or left-overs
of diet at Terra Amata (the coprolite is now thought to be a stone). There are
the, possible, outlines of huts and stone tools but the sandy soil doesn't aid
preservation and there has been some movement of items through the soil
(Villa, 1982) making interpretation difficult (although I disagree with Stringer and
Gamble who dismiss the evidence on this basis - the site may be disturbed but
that needn't totally discredit the site).

Ref

Villa, P. (1982) Conjoinable pieces and site formation processes. American
Antiquity. 47 (2). 276 - 90.


Marc Verhaegen

unread,
May 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/18/98
to

>And we should take this pamphlet, that obviously nobody can reproduce,
>as scientific evidence? We know next to nothing about the materials
>and methods used by this "innominate" coach.
>At best you have some dubious anecdotal evidence here that, from a
>scientific point of view, is worth shit.
>Try again.
>
>Gerrit

Please, be a little polite.
The experience of people that have worked their whole life with swimming &
diving instruction is worth a lot.
And if you cannot believe people who can know, read the confirmation in


J Ghesquiere & H Bunkens 1991

The burden of locomotion in water: could the aquatic ape have overcome it?
In M Roede ed. The aquatic ape: fact or finction? Souvenir London

Marc Verhaegen

unread,
May 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/18/98
to

Dan Barnes >, Marc.Ve...@village.uunet.be


>>Crossing rivers (=swimming) does not cause ear exostoses.
>>
>It could suggest that with less efficient means of crossing rivers they
were more
>prone to getting submerged and getting cold water in the ears. As far as I
was

>aware (and I can go and check) AE is largely thought to be linked to
exposure to


>cold water not specifically to diving. Since divers are the only people
today who
>expose themselves to cold water it is not suprising that they have a higher
>incidence of AE - this in no way means that Ns were diving (although it is
one of
>the possibilities - see above for another). However, if AE is linked to
diving that
>is a different kettle of fish.

Even in modern humans, who are not very aquatic any more, AEs only develop
after long-term diving. Crossing rivers can't account for that. AEs are only
seen in populations diving for shellfish..

>If Ns were driving large mammals of cliffs, hunting
>them at close quarters with spears, scavenging parts of animals before
other
>animals, potentially exploiting aquatic resources, etc. then they may have
also
>dived for other aquatic resources (this needn't imply they were adapted for
an
>aquatic life though). Unfortunately the link between AE and diving (rather
than
>purely with cold water) is, in my opinion, one step to far in the chain of
logic.
>>

>>>To the best of my knowledge there are no human remains at Terra Amata.
>>

>>Remains = skeletons, footprints, left-overs of diet..
>>
>OK - to the best of my knowledge there are no skeletons, footprints or
left-overs
>of diet at Terra Amata (the coprolite is now thought to be a stone). There
are
>the, possible, outlines of huts and stone tools but the sandy soil doesn't
aid
>preservation and there has been some movement of items through the soil
>(Villa, 1982) making interpretation difficult (although I disagree with
Stringer and
>Gamble who dismiss the evidence on this basis - the site may be disturbed
but
>that needn't totally discredit the site).
>
>Ref
>
>Villa, P. (1982) Conjoinable pieces and site formation processes. American
>Antiquity. 47 (2). 276 - 90.

imprint of a right foot, 9.5 inches long, which is preserved in the sand
(Poirier 1987 Understanding human evolution. Prentice-Hall NJ)

Marc

Marc Verhaegen

unread,
May 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/18/98
to

Dan Barnes >, Marc.Ve...@village.uunet.be

Crossing rivers (=swimming) does not cause ear exostoses.

In modern humans (not very aquatic any more) ear exostoses only develop
after long-term diving. And it's only seen in populations that dive for
shellfish.

>>>To the best of my knowledge there are no human remains at Terra Amata.

>Villa, P. (1982) Conjoinable pieces and site formation processes. American
>Antiquity. 47 (2). 276 - 90.
>

FE Poirier 1987 Understanding human evolution. Prentice-Hall NJ


imprint of a right foot, 9.5 inches long, which is preserved in the sand

Marc

Phillip Bigelow

unread,
May 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/18/98
to

> jth...@aol.com (JTHURB) wrote:
>
> >Are we confused here? We don't safely make "that kind" of generalization in
> >politics anymore, but we certainly infer generalizations from the data we
> >gather in the sciences.

I submit that what you are about to relate (below) is not "science".


> >About thirty years ago, there was a very well-known Georgia Tech swimming coach
> >who developed a self life-saving method for staying afloat which he called
> >"drownproofing." Basically, it was a jelly-fish float punctuated periodically
> >by turning the head to one side to grab a fresh breath. I taught it to my
> >diving students many years later and often demonstrated it after handcuffing my
> >hands behind my back. The coach, whose name now eludes me, often had some
> >students who-although they did not know how to swim-could stay afloat well over
> >12 hours using this technique.
> >
> >Observing his students, he came up with several "generalizations" with respect
> >to racial differences. The following were reported in a pamphlet entitled
> >DROWNPROOFING and are based on observations made in fresh water:
> >
> > 1. 84% of all white males are positively buoyant.
> > 2. 98% of all white females are positively buoyant.
> > 3. 70% of all black males are negatively buoyant.

> >I don't recall the figure given for black females, nor do I guarantee the exact
> >correctness of the figures above, but I think they are near enough to reinforce
> >the gist of Verhaegen's assertions,

"generalizations"
"don't recall"
"nor do I gaurentee"
"near enough"


Well.....you certainly have convinced me of the accuracy of
Marc Verhaegen's assertions with *those* statistics!!

> >i.e., blacks generally don't swim all that
> >well. Most black swimmers have to waste some component of their energy just to
> >stay afloat.


This is going to make it difficult for Elaine Morgan's "Floating hominid
mother and infant dyad" hypothesis, isn't it? :-)
Oh...maybe they were white back then....


> > This often causes an initial unpleasant experience for some black
> >youngsters many of whom, sadly, never overcome their fear of the water. Yes,
> >some do swim at the Olympic level, but their names are conspicuously absent
> >from the record books, mainly-I would guess-because so few try.


The Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation department has many
pools around the city. Near the southcentral neighborhood,
(dominated by low-income minorities), the pools are always filled with
laughing African American children, who seem to show no nightmare-ish
aversion to going into the deep end.

I don't believe Verhaegen's assertions regarding racial differences,
soley because no *scientific* study exists (to my knowledge).
(publ?, year?, page number?, peer-reviewed? statistical parameters?).
Further, if we make the weak assumption that Verhaegen is correct,
and there is variability in specific gravity within H. sapiens,
then what does that tell us about the equally possible variability
in specific gravity within H. neanderthalensis, and H. erectus?

Lastly, I challenge Verghaegen's usage of the word "black".
Is he including in his conclusions about the boyancy of
"blacks" the Australian aborigines? What about New Guinneans?
What about Madagascarans?

I loath these types of discussions, because they have
absolutely no scientific content at all, and because
they are based on heresay.

Dan Barnes

unread,
May 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/19/98
to

In article <Et5o6...@liverpool.ac.uk>, dba...@liv.ac.uk says...

>
>In article <6jiaeh$okm$1...@xenon.inbe.net>,
Marc.Ve...@village.uunet.be
>says...
>>
SNIP the bit about AE.

>>>To the best of my knowledge there are no human remains at Terra Amata.
>>

>>Remains = skeletons, footprints, left-overs of diet..
>>

>OK - to the best of my knowledge there are no skeletons, footprints or left-over
>s

>of diet at Terra Amata (the coprolite is now thought to be a stone). There are
>the, possible, outlines of huts and stone tools but the sandy soil doesn't aid
>preservation and there has been some movement of items through the soil
>(Villa, 1982) making interpretation difficult (although I disagree with Stringer
> and Gamble who dismiss the evidence on this basis - the site may be
> disturbed but that needn't totally discredit the site).
>

Sorry I'm wrong on this point. This will teach me to be a smartarse and post
'clever' rather than accurate remarks. Of course there are abundant animal
remains from Terra Amata (and I realised this as soon as I'd sent the post
yesterday) and it is interesting and relevant to look at the evidence for the
subsidence of pre-Neanderthal coastal popualtions. Henry de Lumley (1969:
45) states that:

"The evidence shows that they gathered a little seafood, manufactured stone
tools and hunted in the nearby countryside. The animal bones from Terra Amata
include the remains of birds, turtles and at least eight species of mammals.
Although the visitors did not ignore small game such as rabbits and rodents, the
majority of the bones represent larger animals. They are, in order of abundance,
the stag (Cervus elaphus), the extinct elephant (Elephas meridionalis), the wild
boar (Sus scrofa), the ibex (Capra ibex), Merck's rhinoceros (Dicerothinus
merki) and finally the wild ox (Bos primigenius). Although the hunters showed a
preference for big game, they generally selected as prey not the adults but the
young of each species, doubtless because they were easier to bring down.
The visitors did not systematically exploit the food resources
available in the Mediterranean. Nevertheless, they were not entriely ignorant of
seafood. A few shells of oysters, mussels and limpets at the site show that they
gathered shellfish, fishbones and fish vertebrae indicate that on occasion the
hunters also fished."

This is not the pattern of a group of hominids who are adapted for an aquatic
lifestyle but one that relied on generalised subsitence exploiting resources when
and where they were available (it may even show a division of labour with the
stronger members of the tribe hunting while the young, old or injured collected
the marine resources and probably the small animals and birds and possibly
any plants). Since this site predates the appearance of the Neanderthals (it
dates to c. 300 ka - Wintle and Aitken, 1977) we can see clearly that their
ancestors were already using subsitence strategies that we see used later by
the Neanderthals. This proves that the Ns ancestors were also not adapted to a
specifically aquatic lifestyle as is claimed elsewhere.

Ref:

Lumley, H. de (1969) A Paleolithic camp at Nice. Scientific American. 220 (5).
42 - 50.

Wintle, A.G. & Aitken, M.J. (1977) TL dating of burnt flint: Application to a Lower
Palaeolithic site, Terra Amata. Archaeometry. 19 (2). 111 - 30.


Marc Verhaegen

unread,
May 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/19/98
to

Read J Ghesquiere & H Bunkens 1991
The burden of locomotion in water: cold the aquatic ape have overcome it?
in M Roede ed. The aquatic ape: fact or fiction? Souvenir London

Anne Gilbert

unread,
May 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/19/98
to

jn1jp$nmc$1...@sparky.wolfe.net>
Organization: Seattle Community Network

In a previous article, Marc.Ve...@village.uunet.be ("Marc Verhaegen") says:

>il
>From: "Marc Verhaegen" <Marc.Ve...@village.uunet.be>
>Newsgroups: sci.anthropology.paleo
>Subject: Re: neandertal snorkel
>Date: Sun, 17 May 1998 22:23:35 +0200
>Organization: UUNET Benelux (post does not reflect views of UUNET Benelux)
>Lines: 39
>Message-ID: <6jngqf$4c7$1...@xenon.inbe.net>
>References: <6j7itu$s9t$1...@xenon.inbe.net> <35581241...@news.kijfhoek.nl.net> <6jafm6$cms$1...@xenon.inbe.net> <35598473...@news.kijfhoek.nl.net> <6jctk9$a7t$1...@xenon.inbe.net> <355d5d5a...@news.kijfhoek.nl.net> <6jn1jp$nmc$1...@sparky.wolfe.net>

>
>NNTP-Posting-Host: pool02a-194-7-46-115.uunet.be
>X-Newsreader: Microsoft Outlook Express 4.72.2106.4
>X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V4.72.2106.4


>
>Woodie O. Pugh > Gerrit Hanenburg wrote in message
>>>...their "dense" bones would constantly cause them to sink...
>>

>>I'd hate to have the task of teaching a Neandertal to swim. Experience
>>tells me I would have a panic-ridden freak on my hands, and "panic" is
>>the number one cause of diving fatalities.
>>
>>Woodie O. Pugh
>>
>>To reply, change anti-spam xxx to ktn
>>
>
>
>

Well, all I can say is, I'd hate to be instructed in swimming and diving
by someone with opinions like Mr. Pugh's. No doubt, from his experience,
he's right. He certainly has a right to his opinions. But I couldn't
"float" either, when I learned to swim, and I'm not particularly heavy
boned. Also, a heavy boned person might or might not be afraid of the
water. It would depend on what kind of conditioning he or she had, and
what kind of instruction he or she got. Assuming you could resurrect
Neandertals to test this proposition, I think it would be, in theory,
perfectly possible to teach them to swim --- although it might take
longer than for (some) modern humans. BTW, despite all of the above, the
idea of Neandertal snorkel noses does *not* impress me as being
evolutionarily possible.
Anne Gilbert

Phillip Bigelow

unread,
May 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/21/98
to

Claiming as a supporting study that backs up Marc's claim that "blacks"
are more prone to be negatively boyant in water compared to "whites",
Marc Verhaegen wrote:

> Read J Ghesquiere & H Bunkens 1991
> The burden of locomotion in water: cold the aquatic ape have overcome it?

> in M Roede ed. The aquatic ape: fact or fiction? Souvenir London


In the past, I have read various papers in this compendium, but I no longer
have access to it. So, help me out (as well as others here) a bit.

1) Was this a *professionally* peer-reviewed compendium publication?

2) What type of statistics did Ghesquiere and Bunkens use to come to
their conclusion that "blacks" are more often negatively boyant in the water
than are "whites"? By that, I mean what statistical *methods* did Ghesquiere

and Bunkens use?
Analysis of co-variance? What were the p-values? Levels of confidence?

Andrew Donald Macafee

unread,
May 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/22/98
to

I have just been on holiday to the Carribean. The local black fishermen
were not fat and they claim that that many of their number need to swim
actively to float comfortably.

I am a fat white westerner and I float without swimming.

:))

Phillip Bigelow

unread,
May 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/22/98
to

Phillip Bigelow <bh...@Xscn.org> wrote:
> Claiming as a supporting study that backs up Marc's claim that "blacks"
> are more prone to be negatively boyant in water compared to "whites",
> Marc Verhaegen wrote:

> > Read J Ghesquiere & H Bunkens 1991
> > The burden of locomotion in water: cold the aquatic ape have overcome it?

> > in M Roede ed. The aquatic ape: fact or fiction? Souvenir London

Phillip Bigelow <bh...@Xscn.org> answered:
<snip>


> 1) Was this a *professionally* peer-reviewed compendium publication?

> 2) What type of statistics did Ghesquiere and Bunkens use to come to
> their conclusion that "blacks" are more often negatively boyant in the water
> than are "whites"? By that, I mean what statistical *methods* did Ghesquiere
> and Bunkens use?
> Analysis of co-variance? What were the p-values? Levels of confidence?


Andrew Donald Macafee then wrote:

> I have just been on holiday to the Carribean. The local black fishermen
> were not fat and they claim that that many of their number need to swim
> actively to float comfortably.
>
> I am a fat white westerner and I float without swimming.

Are the Carribean fisherman "sinkers" because they are lean
(because of their overall lifestyle and diet),
or are they "sinkers" because they are "black"?

Are you a "floater" because you are fat,
(because of your overall lifestyle and diet),
or are you a "floater" because you are "white"?

And how is your little non-statistical anecdotal story
going to answer those questions with any
degree of scientific rigor?

Let's get away from this type of type of arm-waving garbage.

<pb>
--
remove "X" for e-mail

http://www.scn.org/~bh162/index.html


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