Google Groups no longer supports new Usenet posts or subscriptions. Historical content remains viewable.
Dismiss

Neandertal snorkel

2 views
Skip to first unread message

Marc Verhaegen

unread,
Apr 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/3/98
to

Dear Bigelow, if you don't want to tell 'just-so' stories, the comparative
data are the only reliable ones.

In mammals, well-developed external noses are seen in: humans, proboscis
monkeys, elephants, tapirs, elephant seals, hooded seals. Neandertals had
even bigger noses with more apical nostrils than we have (as Otto Hauser
remarked before the soft tissues fell apart when he dug up the Moustier
fossil in 1908). Elephants and proboscis monkeys (and possibly others as
well) use their external noses as snorkels when crossing rivers or when
swimming. External noses are not seen in: fully aquatic mammals, most
semi-aquatic mammals, arboreal mammals, terrestrial mammals (eg, savanna),
australopithecines, apes.

For the sinuses, read Blanton & Biggs 1968 Am.J.Anat.124:135 & my papers.

Phillip Bigelow

unread,
Apr 3, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/3/98
to

Marc Verhaegen wrote:
>
> Dear Bigelow, if you don't want to tell 'just-so' stories, the comparative
> data are the only reliable ones.


If this is so, then please give us your synopsis of a good
methodology, based *only* on comparative anatomy of living animals,
that effectively addresses the phylogenetic relationships and
identification of the last common ancestor of.....birds.
How "reliable" are your results going to be?

Now, compare your methodology with that of researchers who
utilize the fossil evidence for temporal and evolutionary
interpretations.


And speaking of fossils and phylogeny....are you still of the
belief that today's great apes evolved from some type of
australopithicene ancestor? (In spite of a *huge* number
of cladistic analyses that *clearly* show that australopithicenes
were our ancestors; i.e., they are placed solidly on the hominid stem).


> In mammals, well-developed external noses are seen in: humans,

Which is presently not living in an aquatic niche...


> proboscis monkeys,

Which likes to swim, but is not living in an aquatic niche...

> elephants, tapirs,

Like to swim, but are not living in an aquatic niche....


> elephant seals, hooded seals.

Well, you at least named two that are aquatic....
Too bad about the ambiguity regarding the others you mentioned...


> Neandertals had
> even bigger noses with more apical nostrils than we have (as Otto Hauser
> remarked before the soft tissues fell apart when he dug up the Moustier
> fossil in 1908).


Your point being what? Their external noses were also wider than ours.
What conceivable aquatic adaptation (e.g., the "Verhaegan snorkel") would
a wide, low, large-nostriled Neanderthal have? More ambiguity.

Furthermore, take into consideration the shape of the protrusion itself.
A low, wide, large-nostril nose on neanderthals....whereas:

A very elongated, heavily-muscled, proportionally narrow-nostril nose
on the other animals.

The morphologies are vastly different. More ambiguity.


> Elephants and proboscis monkeys (and possibly others as
> well) use their external noses as snorkels when crossing rivers or when
> swimming.

True, but what does this utilization actually tell us for certain?
Is it a secondary adaptation of the nose (which may have
evolved for other, more prosaic terrestrial reasons)?
Since these animals are not presently aquatic animals
(any more than are zebras and wildebeast when they go to
water), you quickly become sucked-in to circular reasoning
regarding the aquatic-ness issue.

As I have noted before; it's all a pile of ambiguity.


> External noses are not seen in: fully aquatic mammals,


Tell that to the manatee and dugong.


> most
> semi-aquatic mammals, arboreal mammals, terrestrial mammals (eg, savanna),


Elephants are frequent inhabitants of the savanna,
and they have external noses (at least that is what I have been told).


> australopithecines, apes.

The traditional view is that the external nose on Homo developed as the
internal nares were becoming crowded out from a steadily increasing
brain capacity (particularly in the frontal lobe areas). We actually
have fossil evidence for this traditional view. This is compatible
with the physical evidence. Australopithicenes and apes have
a smaller frontal cortex than do modern humans, neanderthals, and
Homo erectus. Ergo, they had little adaptive need for an external
nose.


> For the sinuses, read Blanton & Biggs 1968 Am.J.Anat.124:135 & my papers.


I have.
So what? The comparative anatomy of both the intracranial sinuses and
soft tissue sinuses has ambiguous meaning when studying aquatic adaptation
in vertebrates.


Uses for enlarged sinuses in endothermic animals:

1) For H2O retention/recycling (via turbinates). (elephants, and all other
land mammals)

2) Warming of in-coming air in cold climates.

3) As resonating chambers to increase low-frequency range in vocalization.
(elephants)


A hallmark of AAT(H) evidence is it's inherent ambiguity regarding
what it implies. One character trait can have a myriad of explainations
other than that of a soley aquatic adaptation. Those purely- and
unambiguously-aquatic adaptations that *can* be used for comparative
anatomy are summarily ignored by proponents of the AAT(H), because
they know that those features are missing in humans.
<pb>
--
remove "X" for e-mail
http://www.scn.org/~bh162/index.html

Gerrit Hanenburg

unread,
Apr 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/4/98
to

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

>In mammals, well-developed external noses are seen in: humans, proboscis
>monkeys, elephants, tapirs, elephant seals, hooded seals.

As they are in macroscelids, suids, coatis, chiropterans (in
particular the tube-nosed bats and the sword-nosed bats).
It should also be noted that the external nose in proboscis monkeys
and elephant seals is highly sexually dimorphic, which puts a purely
respiratory function in doubt.

>Neandertals had
>even bigger noses with more apical nostrils than we have (as Otto Hauser
>remarked before the soft tissues fell apart when he dug up the Moustier
>fossil in 1908).

This I don't believe.
I'd like to see a reference to Hauser's remark in the literature.

>Elephants and proboscis monkeys (and possibly others as
>well) use their external noses as snorkels when crossing rivers or when
>swimming.

Proboscis monkeys do not use their noses as snorkels. They simply keep
their heads above the water, and none of these animals swim on their
backs.

>External noses are not seen in: fully aquatic mammals, most


>semi-aquatic mammals, arboreal mammals, terrestrial mammals (eg, savanna),

>australopithecines, apes.

Well-developed external noses are seen in savanna animals like
elephants, forest animals like tapirs, and arboreal animals like
proboscis monkeys.

Gerrit

Philip Nicholls

unread,
Apr 5, 1998, 4:00:00 AM4/5/98
to

On Fri, 3 Apr 1998 21:08:38 +0200, "Marc Verhaegen"
<Marc.Ve...@village.uunet.be> wrote:

>Dear Bigelow, if you don't want to tell 'just-so' stories, the comparative
>data are the only reliable ones.
>

>In mammals, well-developed external noses are seen in: humans, proboscis

>monkeys, elephants, tapirs, elephant seals, hooded seals. Neandertals had


>even bigger noses with more apical nostrils than we have (as Otto Hauser
>remarked before the soft tissues fell apart when he dug up the Moustier

>fossil in 1908). Elephants and proboscis monkeys (and possibly others as


>well) use their external noses as snorkels when crossing rivers or when

>swimming. External noses are not seen in: fully aquatic mammals, most


>semi-aquatic mammals, arboreal mammals, terrestrial mammals (eg, savanna),
>australopithecines, apes.
>

>For the sinuses, read Blanton & Biggs 1968 Am.J.Anat.124:135 & my papers.
>

Recently I had occasion to review articles on the behavior of the
"proboscis monkey" and while I did find references to swimming I did
not find any observations that the nose was used as a "snorkel."

The human nose projects forward compared to other primates NOT because
the nose is more developed but rather because the face has become
flattened. In neandertals there is mid-facial prognathism ... the
entire middle part of the face projects forward relative to the rest
of the face.


Those who can, teach. Those who can't teach
become libertarians.

pn...@capital.net
Visit Mr. Nicholl's Web Page of Science at
www.capital.net/~pnich

Dan Barnes

unread,
Apr 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/6/98
to

In article <35259B...@Xscn.org>, bh...@Xscn.org says...
>
>Marc Verhaegen wrote:
>>
I'd just like to jump in on the discussion of the Neanderthal nose.

>> Neandertals had
>> even bigger noses with more apical nostrils than we have (as Otto Hauser
>> remarked before the soft tissues fell apart when he dug up the Moustier
>> fossil in 1908).
>

I'm not aware of this (in fact it would probably be one of the best preserved Ns
yet found) - Marc do you have a reference?

>Your point being what? Their external noses were also wider than ours.
>What conceivable aquatic adaptation (e.g., the "Verhaegan snorkel") would
>a wide, low, large-nostriled Neanderthal have? More ambiguity.
>
>Furthermore, take into consideration the shape of the protrusion itself.
>A low, wide, large-nostril nose on neanderthals....whereas:
>
>A very elongated, heavily-muscled, proportionally narrow-nostril nose
>on the other animals.
>
>The morphologies are vastly different. More ambiguity.
>

SNIP

>Uses for enlarged sinuses in endothermic animals:
>
>1) For H2O retention/recycling (via turbinates). (elephants, and all other
>land mammals)
>
>2) Warming of in-coming air in cold climates.
>

SNIP Phillip's last point.

The N's nose is indeed large and wide which goes against modern human cold
adaptations which favours a small nose to lessen the amount of air drawn into
the nasal cavities and hence decrease the loss of heat and moisture. However,
the large anterior teeth and the general facial projection meant that the N's nose
was already wide (technically its ancestors nose) and the only other solution to a
cold adaptation is to go to the other extreme (a classic example of exaption)
and develop an huge nose which could warm the air before it comes in contact
with the frontal sinuses (points 1 and 2). An interesting feature of the Ns nose
(which has recently been discovered) are a number of bumps and ridges in Ns
noses which would help with the heat exchange process (Milford Wolpoff
informed that this feature isn't unique to Ns though and occurs in some
eskimoes):

Schwartz, J.H. & Tattersall, I. (1996) Significance of some previously
unrecognised apomorphies in the nasal region of Homo neanderthalensis.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of
America. 93 (20). 10852-4.

What we can see (as Phillip pointed out above) is that the N nose was an
excellent adaptation to the rigorous climate of Ice Age Europe and nothing to do
with an aquatic lifestyle.

See also:

Franciscus, R.G. (1989) Neanderthal mesosterna and noses: Implications for
activity and biogeographical patterning. American Journal of Physical
Anthropology (abstract). 78 (2). 223.


Marc Verhaegen

unread,
Apr 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/12/98
to

Dear Bigalow,
Please try to spell my name correctly.
I just read your message of April 4.

Definitions of aquatic/semi-aquatic/terrestrial...?
Proboscis monkeys, forest elephants, tapirs do live in a semi-aquatic niche,
and need much more water than zebras or wildebeasts.

Manatees and dugongs don't have external/protruding noses like the species I
mentioned.

>The traditional view is that the external nose on Homo developed as the
>internal nares were becoming crowded out from a steadily increasing
>brain capacity (particularly in the frontal lobe areas).

Do you believe this? If you repeat it a few times, it may become a
traditional view.


>We actually
>have fossil evidence for this traditional view.

Do you believe this? If you repeat it a few times, it may become a


traditional view.
>This is compatible
>with the physical evidence. Australopithicenes and apes have
>a smaller frontal cortex than do modern humans, neanderthals, and
>Homo erectus. Ergo, they had little adaptive need for an external
>nose.

Do you believe this? If you repeat it a few times, it may become a
traditional view.
(If you really believe this, I think there is no need for further
discussions.)

>Uses for enlarged sinuses in endothermic animals:
>1) For H2O retention/recycling (via turbinates). (elephants, and all other
>land mammals)

Evidence?? Crocodiles?? Swine?? As you know, airflow in sinuses in minimal.


>2) Warming of in-coming air in cold climates.

Evidence?? Elephant? Mammoth? Airflow in sinuses in minimal.


>3) As resonating chambers to increase low-frequency range in vocalization.

Evidence?? Sinuses are no trumpets nor bagpipes.
Please read Blanton & Biggs again.

Phillip Bigelow

unread,
Apr 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/12/98
to

Marc Verhaegen wrote:
>
> Dear Bigalow,
> Please try to spell my name correctly.

Dear Marc,
Now now, calm down. We are only having a discussion.
Your career is safe. I won't hurt you.
You will note, if you stay on Usenet for any length
of time, that I have a somewhat "creative" spelling
style. I try, but sometimes fail.


I wrote earlier:


> >Uses for enlarged sinuses in endothermic animals:
> >1) For H2O retention/recycling (via turbinates). (elephants, and all other
> >land mammals)

Marc answered:


> Evidence?? Crocodiles?? Swine?? As you know, airflow in sinuses in minimal.

Marc, please read a good science textbook on soft tissue physiology
of nasal sinuses in mammals and birds. You seem to be confused regarding
my point. Crocodiles are not mammals.


> >2) Warming of in-coming air in cold climates.


> Evidence?? Elephant? Mammoth? Airflow in sinuses in minimal.

Elephants? No. Mammoths? Probably not. Their external noses
and great bulk (gigantothermic endothermy) probably gave the
sinuses a minimal role in these cases.

But in most mammals, the soft tissue of the external nose, and even
in the frontal sinuses to some extent, do indeed warm incoming
air in cold climates. As far as any evolutionary adaption, specifically
for cold climates, I doubt it. Because they
are homeothermic endotherms, mammals do quite fine in most any
climate.


> >3) As resonating chambers to increase low-frequency range in vocalization.

> Evidence?? Sinuses are no trumpets nor bagpipes.

No they are not. And I never said they were.
Sorry. I was thinking about two different phenomenon at
once, and typing at the same time. I was refering to
the highly derived nasal passageways of lambeosaurs,
which have been hypothesized to have been resonating
chambers for low-frequency calls.

But *you* used the term "snorkel" in describing a neanderthal
nose. In a publication, none-the-less. Sinuses and the external
nose on hominids are not in any way associated with what
most of us would call a "snorkel".

Marc Verhaegen

unread,
Apr 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/17/98
to

>But *you* used the term "snorkel" in describing a neanderthal
>nose. In a publication, none-the-less. Sinuses and the external
>nose on hominids are not in any way associated with what
>most of us would call a "snorkel".

By "snorkel" I just meant something that lengthens the airway so that the
entrance can project above the water surface.

Steve Barnard

unread,
Apr 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/17/98
to

Right. Snorkel. That's what a snorkel is.

Steve Barnard

Phil Nicholls

unread,
Apr 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/17/98
to

Marc Verhaegen wrote in message <6h8fu6$2ip$1...@xenon.inbe.net>...


>
>>But *you* used the term "snorkel" in describing a neanderthal
>>nose. In a publication, none-the-less. Sinuses and the external
>>nose on hominids are not in any way associated with what
>>most of us would call a "snorkel".
>By "snorkel" I just meant something that lengthens the airway so that the
>entrance can project above the water surface.
>


Which in no way describes neanderthals.

Steve Barnard

unread,
Apr 19, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/19/98
to

Marc Verhaegen wrote:
>
> Phil Nicholls heeft geschreven
> >Marc Verhaegen wrote

> >>>But *you* used the term "snorkel" in describing a neanderthal
> >>>nose. In a publication, none-the-less. Sinuses and the external
> >>>nose on hominids are not in any way associated with what
> >>>most of us would call a "snorkel".
> >>By "snorkel" I just meant something that lengthens the airway so that the
> >>entrance can project above the water surface.
> >Which in no way describes neanderthals.
> Why not?
> If you float on your on the water on your back, your nose projects above the
> surface, as everybody can see in the swimming pool, and just as in sea
> otters floating on their backs, cracking shellfish. If a Neandertal floated
> on his back, his nose projected further above the surface as in humans, only
> because:
> -his paranasal air sinuses were larger
> -his midface projected more anteriorly than in the human skull
> -his nostrils were more apical (as Otto Hauser described after the discovery
> in 1908 of the Moustier fossil: soft tissues can often still be discerned
> after unearthing, in the seconds or minutes before the soft tissues fall
> apart)

This is a joke, right?

Steve Barnard

Marc Verhaegen

unread,
Apr 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/20/98
to

Robert Gotschall

unread,
Apr 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/22/98
to

In article <353AC0...@megafauna.com>, st...@megafauna.com says...

> Marc Verhaegen wrote:
> >
> > Phil Nicholls heeft geschreven
> > >Marc Verhaegen wrote

> > >>By "snorkel" I just meant something that lengthens the airway so that the


> > >>entrance can project above the water surface.
> > >Which in no way describes neanderthals.
> > Why not?
> > If you float on your on the water on your back, your nose projects above the
> > surface, as everybody can see in the swimming pool, and just as in sea
> > otters floating on their backs, cracking shellfish. If a Neandertal floated
> > on his back, his nose projected further above the surface as in humans, only
> > because:
>

> This is a joke, right?
>
> Steve Barnard

Oh sure, It has to be a joke, just because you wouldn't want then
swimming in your Cromagnon country club pool and eating filet mignon.
Why some of my best friends are er . . . . wait. This isn't The Ancient
Tribe of Guinnesses thread is it?

Never mind.


--
rg

remove spam from email address

Philip Nicholls

unread,
Apr 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/25/98
to

Marc Verhaegen wrote:

> Phil Nicholls heeft geschreven
>Marc Verhaegen wrote
> >>>But *you* used the term "snorkel" in describing a neanderthal
> >>>nose. In a publication, none-the-less. Sinuses and the external
> >>>nose on hominids are not in any way associated with what
> >>>most of us would call a "snorkel".
> >>By "snorkel" I just meant something that lengthens the airway so that the
> >>entrance can project above the water surface.
> >Which in no way describes neanderthals.
> Why not?
> If you float on your on the water on your back, your nose projects above the
> surface, as everybody can see in the swimming pool, and just as in sea
> otters floating on their backs, cracking shellfish. If a Neandertal floated
> on his back, his nose projected further above the surface as in humans, only
> because:
> -his paranasal air sinuses were larger
> -his midface projected more anteriorly than in the human skull
> -his nostrils were more apical (as Otto Hauser described after the discovery
> in 1908 of the Moustier fossil: soft tissues can often still be discerned
> after unearthing, in the seconds or minutes before the soft tissues fall
> apart)

All true, but none of this describes a snorkel. It describes
midfacial prognatism. Why get the whole mid-facial area involved?

I suggest you (or anyone interested in a more data driven, less "just
so" approach) see Demes (1987) "Another look at an old face;
biomechanics of the neandertal facial skeleton reconsidered," Journal
of Human Evolution: 16: 297-305 and Demes and Creel (1988) Bite
force, dient and chrnail morphology of fossil hominids, JHE 17:
657-670.

Marc Verhaegen

unread,
Apr 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/25/98
to

>> If you float on your on the water on your back, your nose projects above
the
>> surface, as everybody can see in the swimming pool, and just as in sea
>> otters floating on their backs, cracking shellfish. If a Neandertal
floated
>> on his back, his nose projected further above the surface as in humans,
only
>> because:
>> -his paranasal air sinuses were larger
>> -his midface projected more anteriorly than in the human skull
>> -his nostrils were more apical (as Otto Hauser described after the
discovery
>> in 1908 of the Moustier fossil: soft tissues can often still be discerned
>> after unearthing, in the seconds or minutes before the soft tissues fall
>> apart)
>All true, but none of this describes a snorkel. It describes
>midfacial prognatism. Why get the whole mid-facial area involved?

They all describe a snorkel: lengthening of the airway. The airway begins,
as you know, at the nostrils, ie, midfacially.
But you probably mean: why also the face & not only the nose?
I guess it's because the para-nasal midface is filled with paranasal sinuses
(maxillary, frontal, ethmoidal) which make the nose/snorkel to float. This
midfacial protrusion not only lengthens the airway, but also helps to keep
it above the water. In fact, the dense occipital bones do exactly the same.
(It's clear that this midfacial prognathism has nothing to do with chewing.)

Dan Barnes

unread,
Apr 27, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/27/98
to

In article <6ht8g2$t1f$1...@xenon.inbe.net>, Marc.Ve...@village.uunet.be
says...
The point of a snorkel is that it is a tube with a hole at the end and thus enables
breathing in choppy waters. The problem with the nose is that the nostrils run
along most of the length of the nose - if this design where incorporated into
snorkel design it would be useless. The only way the Neanderthal nose could
have acted as a snorkel is if the nostrils migrated to the tip of the nose! Equally
the larger sinuses and heavy occipital would mean that the Ns would be best
adapted to swimming on their backs - which would not be the most efficient
method of swimming. I explained in a previous post about how the N nose was
a superb adaptation to the cold climate of Europe (and it is described in detail
in Wolpoff, 1996) and this kind of adaptation can be seen in the Ns postcranial
adaptations (Holliday, 1997a, b; Holliday and Trinkaus, 1991; Ruff, 1991, 1993,
1994) as well as in the lumps and ridges within the Ns nose (Schwartz and
Tattersal, 1996). Since a longer nose would not be anymore effective than a
short one (unless the nostrils migrated) and there are good reasons to to
explain the N nasal morphology as one of a suite of climatic adaptations - it is
difficult to see how this evidence could be used as support for aquatic Ns.

Refs:

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. & Trinkaus, E. (1991) Limb/trunk proportions in Neandertals and
early anatomically modern humans. American Journal of Physical Anthropology
(Supplement). 12. 93-94.

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.

Schwartz, J.H. & Tattersall, I. (1996) Significance of some previously
unrecognised apomorphies in the nasal region of Homo neanderthalensis.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of
America. 93 (20). 10852-4.

Wolpoff, M.H. (1996) Human Evolution. McGraw Hill, London.


Marc Verhaegen

unread,
Apr 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/28/98
to

If you float on your on the water on your back, your nose projects above the
surface, just as in sea otters floating on their backs, cracking shellfish.

If a Neandertal floated on his back, his nose projected further above the
surface as in humans, only because:
-his paranasal air sinuses were larger
-his midface projected more anteriorly than in the human skull
-his nostrils were more apical (as Otto Hauser described after the
discovery in 1908 of the Moustier fossil: soft tissues can often still be
discerned after unearthing, in the seconds or minutes before the soft
tissues fall apart).

Why did also the midface project & not only the nose?


I guess it's because the para-nasal midface is filled with paranasal sinuses
(maxillary, frontal, ethmoidal) which make the nose/snorkel to float. This
midfacial protrusion not only lengthens the airway, but also helps to keep
it above the water.
In fact, the dense occipital bones do exactly the same.
(It's clear that this midfacial prognathism has nothing to do with chewing.)

>The only way the Neanderthal nose could have acted as a snorkel is if the


nostrils >migrated to the tip of the nose!

That's what Otto Hauser saw when he unearthed the Moustier
Neandertal:"apparently the nostrils were not directed downward, but much
more forward" (P Moerman 1977 Op het spoor van de Neanderthal-mens.
Boekerij, Baarn, Neth.)

There's not the slightest comparative evidence for the external nose being
an adaptation for a cold climate, as is often supposed. Why don't other
arctic or cold-adapted mammals have long noses?? Grizzlies have no longer
noses than sloth bears. Arctic foxes have shorter noses than fennec foxes,
etc.
Long noses can freeze. That's why arctic mammals have shorter ears etc.

External noses are only seen in (some) semi-aquatics.


Steve Barnard

unread,
Apr 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/28/98
to

Neanderthals had much larger bones that H.s., and H.s. has almost
neutral buoyancy. (I'm a sinker.) I'll bet H.n. sank like a rock.

Oh, I know -- the soft-tissue air sacs didn't fossilize.

Steve Barnard

Marc Verhaegen

unread,
Apr 29, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/29/98
to

Steve Barnard heeft geschreven in bericht <354668...@megafauna.com>...


>Neanderthals had much larger bones that H.s., and H.s. has almost
>neutral buoyancy. (I'm a sinker.) I'll bet H.n. sank like a rock.

No, see discussion in Verhaegen 1991 "Aquatic features in fossil hominids"
pp.75-112 in M Roede ed. The Aquatic Ape: Fact or Fiction? Souvenir London.

Dan Barnes

unread,
Apr 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/30/98
to

In article <6i5h5u$1db$1...@xenon.inbe.net>,
"Marc Verhaegen" <Marc.Ve...@village.uunet.be> wrote:

SNIP

> Why did also the midface project & not only the nose?
> I guess it's because the para-nasal midface is filled with paranasal sinuses
> (maxillary, frontal, ethmoidal) which make the nose/snorkel to float. This
> midfacial protrusion not only lengthens the airway, but also helps to keep
> it above the water.
> In fact, the dense occipital bones do exactly the same.
> (It's clear that this midfacial prognathism has nothing to do with chewing.)
>

Despite the fact that it is clear to the vast number of researchers who have
looked at and modelled the face.

> >The only way the Neanderthal nose could have acted as a snorkel is if the
> nostrils >migrated to the tip of the nose!
> That's what Otto Hauser saw when he unearthed the Moustier
> Neandertal:"apparently the nostrils were not directed downward, but much
> more forward" (P Moerman 1977 Op het spoor van de Neanderthal-mens.
> Boekerij, Baarn, Neth.)
>

Is this a direct quote from his 1909 paper?

Since he reburied the Le Moustier skeleton and rediscovered it again in front
of witnesses (twice!) I would assume the he found the soft tissue when he
originally excavated it - unfortunately without credible witnesses (which is
why he went through the farce of 'discovering' it twice). The fact that soft
tissue was preserved is unique for a N (as far as I'm aware) and it would
suggest that the preservation at this site was exceptional (suggesting water
logging) - a factor that has never been mentioned since even though the site
has been excavated a number of times and none of the other finds (N or animal)
have been reported as having soft tissue preservation (to the best of my
knowledge). If true wouldn't it be mentioned a little more often in palaeoanth
circles?

Lets have a look at Hauser himself as he merits a number of pages in Trinkaus
and Shipman (1993: 174-8):

"Otto Hauser was by many accounts a difficult and unpleasant person; it is
said he had been a sickly child with a lame leg and that his boyhood illnesses
accounted for his boorish , quarrelsome ways. Whatever the cause, he irritated
and offended almost everyone... One of the reasons for his unpopualrity was
that he was both an amatuer, having no academic affiliation or training, and a
commercial archeologist. That is he dug and then sold the antiquities he found
to museums or private collectors. His first ventures, in Switzerland, caused
such resentment and scorn among his compatriots that he swore he would
never work there again."

They quote contemporary French accounts (granted they are biased by
anti-German feeling) as saying "once he had procured his documents and
papers for working in the Dordogne and the general region of Les Eyzies, his
attitude changed. He became proud, arrogant, fatter still, and showed himself
immediately to be a jealous rival...He would do anything for anyone when he
was seeking his authorization and permits. Money, promises, threats, orgies
offered and shared in..."

Boule (in his Fossil Men) says "The scientific value of this relic is markedly
diminished by the poverty of significant stratigraphic or palaeontological
data, and especially by the deplorable manner in which it was extricated and
stored."

Even allowing for considerable bias against the Germans as a whole and
Hauser as their representative we can see that Hauser was an opportunist who
would go to considerable lengths to get expert witnesses to witness his faked
(re)discovery of the Le Moustier finds - it is not beyond the imagination that he
could have exaggerated (or even lied) about the quality of his find, if only
to increase the price of the specimen when later sold - and he did receive
125,000 francs for the Le Moustier and Combe Capelle skeleton (which back
then amounted to a very large amount indeed).

Unfortunately the only evidence for this nostril migration is Hauser's word
and the evidence (conveniently enough) fell apart very quickly after it was
excavated.

> There's not the slightest comparative evidence for the external nose being
> an adaptation for a cold climate, as is often supposed. Why don't other
> arctic or cold-adapted mammals have long noses?? Grizzlies have no longer
> noses than sloth bears. Arctic foxes have shorter noses than fennec foxes,
> etc.

The important thing to bear in mind is that Ns evolved from a Middle
Pleistocene population which itself had large anterior teeth which meant a
correspondingly large nasal breadth. A cold adaptation (or more strictly, I
believe, exaption) would have had to work with the material at hand. A
completely different facial architecture could not be evolved especially if anterior
tooth use had strong controls over facial features. From the hard (rather than the
very dubious soft) evidence we have we can see that the N nose and face are
cold adapted. The lumps and ridges in the nose are also found in Eskimos and
the increased number and size of the facial foramen also testify to an increased
blood flow to keep the face and nose warm.

> Long noses can freeze. That's why arctic mammals have shorter ears etc.
>

The point is that whether in or out of the water the N's nose would still be
susceptible to the colder climate of Europe so by your argument it would have
to evolve to be smaller in either scenario (unless, of course it couldn't do
that due to the initail starting conditions of wide nasal breadth). Also
considering the European climate (esp. as the North Atlantic Drift Current was
defelcted much further south) the Ns would have been at a great disadvantage
with a semi-aquatic lifestyle emerging from cold seas into a cold environment.
Would this mean they required extra layers of fat? All weight estimates put
them in a lean muscular category.

As far as I can tell (outlined above) there is nothing in the hard evidence to
suggest an aquatic lifestyle for the Ns and it looks like the 'soft' evidence must
be taken with a large pinch of salt.


Marc Verhaegen

unread,
Apr 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM4/30/98
to

>> Why did also the midface project & not only the nose?
>> I guess it's because the para-nasal midface is filled with paranasal
sinuses
>> (maxillary, frontal, ethmoidal) which make the nose/snorkel to float.
This
>> midfacial protrusion not only lengthens the airway, but also helps to
keep
>> it above the water.
>> In fact, the dense occipital bones do exactly the same.
>> (It's clear that this midfacial prognathism has nothing to do with
chewing.)
>Despite the fact that it is clear to the vast number of researchers who
have
>looked at and modelled the face.
Because they didn't consider possible alternatives?


>> That's what Otto Hauser saw when he unearthed the Moustier
>> Neandertal:"apparently the nostrils were not directed downward, but much
>> more forward" (P Moerman 1977 Op het spoor van de Neanderthal-mens.
>> Boekerij, Baarn, Neth.)
>Is this a direct quote from his 1909 paper?

No, I haven't read Hauser directly.

>Since he reburied the Le Moustier skeleton and rediscovered it again in
front
>of witnesses (twice!) I would assume the he found the soft tissue when he
>originally excavated it - unfortunately without credible witnesses (which
is
>why he went through the farce of 'discovering' it twice). The fact that
soft
>tissue was preserved is unique for a N (as far as I'm aware)

No, I've read somewhere - I forgot where - that often the soft tissues fall
apart when they come to the air.

>If true wouldn't it be mentioned a little more often in palaeoanth circles?

Because at first sight it looks very curious?? Facts that don't fit are
easily forgotten.


>Unfortunately the only evidence for this nostril migration is Hauser's word
>and the evidence (conveniently enough) fell apart very quickly after it was
>excavated.

Yes, but how could Hauser invent such details, and why would he do so?

>> There's not the slightest comparative evidence for the external nose
being
>> an adaptation for a cold climate, as is often supposed. Why don't other
>> arctic or cold-adapted mammals have long noses?? Grizzlies have no longer
>> noses than sloth bears. Arctic foxes have shorter noses than fennec

foxes.


>The important thing to bear in mind is that Ns evolved from a Middle
>Pleistocene population which itself had large anterior teeth which meant a
>correspondingly large nasal breadth. A cold adaptation (or more strictly, I
>believe, exaption) would have had to work with the material at hand. A
>completely different facial architecture could not be evolved especially if
anterior
>tooth use had strong controls over facial features. From the hard (rather
than the
>very dubious soft) evidence we have we can see that the N nose and face are
>cold adapted. The lumps and ridges in the nose are also found in Eskimos
and
>the increased number and size of the facial foramen also testify to an
increased
>blood flow to keep the face and nose warm.

A semi-aquatic adaptation does not exclude a cold adaptation.

>> Long noses can freeze. That's why arctic mammals have shorter ears etc.
>The point is that whether in or out of the water the N's nose would still
be
>susceptible to the colder climate of Europe so by your argument it would
have
>to evolve to be smaller in either scenario

No, the advantages of a long nose could outweigh the disadvantages.

>Also considering the European climate (esp. as the North Atlantic Drift
Current was
>defelcted much further south) the Ns would have been at a great
disadvantage
>with a semi-aquatic lifestyle emerging from cold seas into a cold
environment.
>Would this mean they required extra layers of fat?

I think so. They must have been slow divers (shellfish), and all slow diving
species have very thick fatlayers. (Fast diving aquatics are leaner, eg, fin
whales have much less fat than true whales.)


>All weight estimates put them in a lean muscular category.

Unknown. Fat tissue is usu. not discussed.

>As far as I can tell (outlined above) there is nothing in the hard evidence
to
>suggest an aquatic lifestyle for the Ns and it looks like the 'soft'
evidence must
>be taken with a large pinch of salt.

The hard evidence suggest a diving lifestyle:
-The auditory exostoses in Ns prove that those people frequently dived in
water colder than 19°C.
-The thick bones & narrow medulla are typical of slow-diving aquatics like
walruses, sirenians..
-Ns are always found at seacoasts or near rivers.A study of Italian cave
sites 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 molluscs and turtles were collected and eaten by Neandertals
(Stiner, 1995).
-Letter to Science, not published:
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.

References
1. A. Gibbons, Science 272, 1586 (1996).
2. M. C. Stiner, Honor among Thieves (Princeton University Press, Princeton,
NJ, 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.

Phillip Bigelow

unread,
May 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/1/98
to


Marc Verhaegen wrote:

> >> That's what Otto Hauser saw when he unearthed the Moustier
> >> Neandertal:"apparently the nostrils were not directed downward, but much
> >> more forward" (P Moerman 1977 Op het spoor van de Neanderthal-mens.
> >> Boekerij, Baarn, Neth.)

Dan Barnes queried:

> >Is this a direct quote from his 1909 paper?

Marc responded:

> No, I haven't read Hauser directly.
>

groan.....

Dan Barnes mused:

> >Since he reburied the Le Moustier skeleton and rediscovered it again in
> front
> >of witnesses (twice!) I would assume the he found the soft tissue when he
> >originally excavated it - unfortunately without credible witnesses (which
> is
> >why he went through the farce of 'discovering' it twice). The fact that
> soft
> >tissue was preserved is unique for a N (as far as I'm aware)

> No, I've read somewhere - I forgot where - that often the soft tissues fall
> apart when they come to the air.
>

> >If true wouldn't it be mentioned a little more often in palaeoanth circles?
> Because at first sight it looks very curious?? Facts that don't fit are
> easily forgotten.
> >Unfortunately the only evidence for this nostril migration is Hauser's word
> >and the evidence (conveniently enough) fell apart very quickly after it was
> >excavated.

> Yes, but how could Hauser invent such details, and why would he do so?
>

Your question is scientifically irrelevent. (although it may make an
interesting chapter ina biography on Hauser and his character).
I have a more relevant question for you, Marc:
Why are *you* using anecdotal claims that are unconfirmed by peer review?
Worse yet, why are you using anecdotal claims in which the evidence, itself,
isn't even in existance?

In my opinion, unsubstantiated claims without museum-held physical evidence
is a waste of time to consider seriously. To use these claims as "evidence"
is an example of sloppy science (IMHO).

Can't we get back to talking about *real* physical evidence, and get away
from perpetuating non-evidence?

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

Marc Verhaegen

unread,
May 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/2/98
to

>> >> That's what Otto Hauser saw when he unearthed the Moustier
>> >> Neandertal:"apparently the nostrils were not directed downward, but
much
>> >> more forward" (P Moerman 1977 Op het spoor van de Neanderthal-mens.
>> >> Boekerij, Baarn, Neth.)
>
>Dan Barnes queried:

>
>> >Is this a direct quote from his 1909 paper?


It's a quote from Moerman's book.

Anne Gilbert

unread,
May 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/2/98
to

It's interesting that Marc Verhagen tries to use Otto Hauser to buttress
his argument for the Aqautic Ape Theory. I can't think of *anyone*, who
subscribes to *any* paleoanthropological theory, who takes Hauser's find
seriously as science, for just the reasons Barnes outlined --- it was
reburied several times.

As for the "cold adaptation" of Neandertal noses, Erik Trinkaus claims
that the large noses may actually have functioned to cool the face and
body off --- in the heat of the summer.
Anne Gilbert
--
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

Marc Verhaegen

unread,
May 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/2/98
to

Phillip Bigelow >Marc Verhaegen >

>> >> That's what Otto Hauser saw when he unearthed the Moustier
>> >> Neandertal:"apparently the nostrils were not directed downward, but
much
>> >> more forward" (P Moerman 1977 Op het spoor van de Neanderthal-mens.
>> >> Boekerij, Baarn, Neth.)

>I have a more relevant question for you, Marc:


>Why are *you* using anecdotal claims that are unconfirmed by peer review?
>Worse yet, why are you using anecdotal claims in which the evidence,
itself,
>isn't even in existance?

Who used more anecdotal claims than Darwin & who made greater science?

Moerman 1977 is a very sound book, better than much that has been written
later, very detailed, a lot of literature (& Moerman has nothing to do with
the aquatic theory).
Moerman read the whole literature - why would I do the effort?

As for Hauser: as you know, having a bad character doesn't mean making bad
science. When Hauser said the nostrils were more apical, you have no reason
to deny that.

The apical nostrils of Neandertals (not proven, of course) is only a minor
indication of their diving habits.
A real proof is the auditory exostoses, see Kennedy 1986 AJPA 71:401.
A strong argument is the dense bones.


Marc Verhaegen

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

>As for the "cold adaptation" of Neandertal noses, Erik Trinkaus claims
>that the large noses may actually have functioned to cool the face and
>body off --- in the heat of the summer.
>Anne Gilbert
Yes, some believe the long nose was for warming up the air, for cooling the
foace, for moistening the incoming air, for dust filtering, for water
retention of expired air, etc. etc. (for a summing up of possible
explanations see Verhaegen in M Roede ed 1991 The aquatic ape: fact or
fiction? Souvenir London).
These ar all just-so explanations.
Only comparative data can provide a serious "explanation".


Gerrit Hanenburg

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

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

>The apical nostrils of Neandertals (not proven, of course) is only a minor
>indication of their diving habits.
>A real proof is the auditory exostoses, see Kennedy 1986 AJPA 71:401.
>A strong argument is the dense bones.

Auditory exostosis is not proof of aquatic habits in Neandertals. The
etiology of auditory exostosis is more complex than that.
See Hutchinson, D.L. et al. 1997. A Reevaluation of the Cold Water
Etiology of External Auditory Exostosis. American Journal of Physical
Anthropology 103: 417-422.
Neither are their "dense" bones such proof. 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)

Gerrit

Gerrit Hanenburg

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

On Sun, 3 May 1998, "Marc Verhaegen" <Marc.Ve...@village.uunet.be>
wrote:

>Yes, some believe the long nose was for warming up the air, for cooling the
>foace, for moistening the incoming air, for dust filtering, for water
>retention of expired air, etc. etc. (for a summing up of possible
>explanations see Verhaegen in M Roede ed 1991 The aquatic ape: fact or
>fiction? Souvenir London).
>These ar all just-so explanations.
>Only comparative data can provide a serious "explanation".

Well, in that case the AAT gets little support since large noses are
not specifically correlated with being (semi)aquatic.
(you are practically the only one who regards elephants, tapirs and
proboscis monkeys as semi-aquatic)

Gerrit

Marc Verhaegen

unread,
May 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/4/98
to

>Auditory exostosis is not proof of aquatic habits in Neandertals.
It surely is.

>The etiology of auditory exostosis is more complex than that.
>See Hutchinson, D.L. et al. 1997. A Reevaluation of the Cold Water
>Etiology of External Auditory Exostosis. American Journal of Physical
>Anthropology 103: 417-422.

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.

>Neither are their "dense" bones such proof.

I said they're a strong indication.

>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.

Marc

Marc Verhaegen

unread,
May 4, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/4/98
to

>>Yes, some believe the long nose was for warming up the air, for cooling
the
>>foace, for moistening the incoming air, for dust filtering, for water
>>retention of expired air, etc. etc. (for a summing up of possible
>>explanations see Verhaegen in M Roede ed 1991 The aquatic ape: fact or
>>fiction? Souvenir London).
>>These ar all just-so explanations.
>>Only comparative data can provide a serious "explanation".
>
>Well, in that case the AAT gets little support since large noses are
>not specifically correlated with being (semi)aquatic.
>(you are practically the only one who regards elephants, tapirs and
>proboscis monkeys as semi-aquatic)


Question of definition. Forest elephants, many Indian elephants, tapirs &
many proboscis monkeys spent a lot of time in the water & get their food in
the water or have to cross water to get their food.
All elephants & proboscis monkeys use the nose as a snorkel to cross rivers
or to swim.

Gerrit Hanenburg

unread,
May 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/5/98
to

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

>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).
How do you know that Shanidar I and La Chapelle aux Saints didn't get
their EAE's through infection unrelated to cold water?

>>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.

Gerrit

Gerrit Hanenburg

unread,
May 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/5/98
to

On 4 May 1998, "Marc Verhaegen" <Marc.Ve...@village.uunet.be>
wrote:

>>Well, in that case the AAT gets little support since large noses are


>>not specifically correlated with being (semi)aquatic.
>>(you are practically the only one who regards elephants, tapirs and
>>proboscis monkeys as semi-aquatic)

>Question of definition. Forest elephants, many Indian elephants, tapirs &
>many proboscis monkeys spent a lot of time in the water & get their food in
>the water or have to cross water to get their food.
>All elephants & proboscis monkeys use the nose as a snorkel to cross rivers
>or to swim.

Proboscis monkeys spend most of their time in the trees and do not use
their noses as snorkels. If they're not completely submerged they
simply keep their heads above the water as much as possible. Also, the
nose of Proboscis monkeys is highly sexually dimorphic which casts
more doubt on its aquatic function.
Elephants too spend most of their time out of the water. Feeding
occasionally in a swamp or taking a bath in the waterhole doesn't make
an animal (semi)aquatic.
I'm sorry Marc but to me it seems you're stretching the concept to
make it fit the AAT.

Gerrit

Dan Barnes

unread,
May 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/5/98
to

In article <6ie232$gf1$1...@xenon.inbe.net>, Marc.Ve...@village.uunet.be
says...

>
>>> >> That's what Otto Hauser saw when he unearthed the Moustier
>>> >> Neandertal:"apparently the nostrils were not directed downward, but
>much
>>> >> more forward" (P Moerman 1977 Op het spoor van de
Neanderthal-mens.
>>> >> Boekerij, Baarn, Neth.)
>>
>>Dan Barnes queried:

>>
>>> >Is this a direct quote from his 1909 paper?
>
>It's a quote from Moerman's book.
>
My point being that if you've translated that quote into English and Moerman
translated it from the French then there is, potentially, considerable room for
error. It would be preferable if the original French could be checked from Hauser
(1909). Unfortunately although the Archaeology Library here does have a large
number of old books and journals 'L’Homme Préhistorique' isn't one of them (it
would take a few weeks for interlibrary loans to find the paper - if they can). If
anyone has access to this journal then it might be quicker if they could post the
actual quote here (with the rest of the paragraph so as to avoid any problems
with taking it out of context - another potential error) then we all could check the
validity of the translation. Until then its best to reserve judgement on what
Hauser believes he saw (if we can believe his word). There is also the potential
problem that lacking any experts until the third 'discovery' he may purely have
been mistaken.

Ref:

Hauser, O. (1909) Découverte d’un squelette du type du Néandertal sous l’abri
inférieur de Moustier. L’Homme Préhistorique. 7 (1). 1 - 9.


Marc Verhaegen

unread,
May 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/5/98
to

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.


>
>>>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?
In any case, the comparative evidence still supports diving habits in
H.erectus as the most likely explanation for their extremely thick & dense
bone cortices.
In fact, the combination of AEs (<1% non-aquatic) & dense bones (<10%
non-aquatic) suggests that the probability of total non-aquaticness in
H.erectus was less than 1:1000.
How much time exactly they spent in the water is of course unknown. But
since we also know they crossed Gibraltar & Flores Strait, 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.

Marc

Marc Verhaegen

unread,
May 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/5/98
to

Gerrit >..."Marc Verhaegen"


>>>(you are practically the only one who regards elephants, tapirs and
>>>proboscis monkeys as semi-aquatic)
>>Question of definition. Forest elephants, many Indian elephants, tapirs &
>>many proboscis monkeys spent a lot of time in the water & get their food
in
>>the water or have to cross water to get their food.
>>All elephants & proboscis monkeys use the nose as a snorkel to cross
rivers
>>or to swim.

>Proboscis monkeys do not use their noses as snorkels.
They do. See films.


>If they're not completely submerged they
>simply keep their heads above the water as much as possible.

Of course, that's why semi-aquatics sometimes develop external noses.

>Also, the nose of Proboscis monkeys is highly sexually dimorphic which
casts
>more doubt on its aquatic function.

A does not exclude B.

>Elephants too spend most of their time out of the water. Feeding
>occasionally in a swamp or taking a bath in the waterhole doesn't make
>an animal (semi)aquatic.

Not occasionally, several hours per day. See films of forest elephants.
But of course: inertia of evolution.


Marc

Marc Verhaegen

unread,
May 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/5/98
to

Dan Barnes >>>> >> That's what Otto Hauser saw when he unearthed the


Moustier
>>>> >> Neandertal:"apparently the nostrils were not directed downward, but
>>much more forward" (P Moerman 1977 Op het spoor van de
>Neanderthal-mens. Boekerij, Baarn, Neth.)


>>>> >Is this a direct quote from his 1909 paper?
>>

>>It's a quote from Moerman's book.
>>
>My point being that if you've translated that quote into English and
Moerman
>translated it from the French then there is, potentially, considerable room
for
>error.

Indeed. Moerman: "De neusgaten zouden bij de Neanderthaler niet naar
beneden, doch veel meer naar voren gericht moeten zijn geweest!"

>It would be preferable if the original French could be checked from Hauser
>(1909). Unfortunately although the Archaeology Library here does have a
large
>number of old books and journals 'L’Homme Préhistorique' isn't one of them
(it
>would take a few weeks for interlibrary loans to find the paper - if they
can). If
>anyone has access to this journal then it might be quicker if they could
post the
>actual quote here (with the rest of the paragraph so as to avoid any
problems
>with taking it out of context - another potential error) then we all could
check the
>validity of the translation. Until then its best to reserve judgement on
what
>Hauser believes he saw (if we can believe his word). There is also the
potential
>problem that lacking any experts until the third 'discovery' he may purely
have
>been mistaken.

Of course, that's still possible.

Phillip Bigelow

unread,
May 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/5/98
to

Gerrit wrote:
> >Proboscis monkeys do not use their noses as snorkels.

Marc wrote:
> They do. See films.


Oooooo...good reference. I think I have "See Films" in my
video collection.

Gerrit espoused:


> >Also, the nose of Proboscis monkeys is highly sexually dimorphic which
> casts
> >more doubt on its aquatic function.

Marc retorted:


> A does not exclude B.


But it certainly casts doubt on it's aquatic *adaptation*, which is
what
the AAT(H) is claiming: our aquatic past caused morphologic changes.
A sexually dimorphic nose on elephant seals and on Proboscis monkeys
cannot unambiguously be assigned as an "aquatic adaptation", any more
than the sexually dimorphic presence/absence of antlers on deer
can be unambiguously assigned as a "terrestrial adaptation".

Gerrit mused:


> >Elephants too spend most of their time out of the water. Feeding
> >occasionally in a swamp or taking a bath in the waterhole doesn't make
> >an animal (semi)aquatic.

Marc interjected:


> Not occasionally, several hours per day.

So what you are claiming, Marc, is that "several hours per day"
of standing/soaking in water is the defining criterium for what
makes an animal "semi-aquatic"???!

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

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

Gerrit Hanenburg

unread,
May 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/9/98
to

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

>>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".

Yes, but the relationship is not an exclusive one, and THAT is the
point of the Hutchinson et al. paper.

>At least 99% of AEs are seen in swimmers.

I'd like to see a reference.

>The cooling, maceration & pH changes of diving predispose to ekzema,
>infection & other complications which sometimes develop into AEs.

Again, the relationship is not exclusive.

>>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.

I'd like to see a reference.

>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.

>>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.

>How does "overall skeletal robusticity" explain the localised occipital (vs


>frontal) skull thickening in H.erectus?

As far as I know the vault bones of Homo erectus are thick overall
(e.g. frontal thickness in OH9 is 9 mm near bregma and the occipital
bone is 10 mm near asterion) with some areas being more prominent,
such as the supraorbital torus, occipital torus, angular torus, etc.
There can be several reasons for differential growth of bone tissue,
one of the most important being structural reinforcement at sites that
are subject to mechanical stress (from the nuchal musculature in the
case of the occipital bone).
On the other hand, such differential growth may be for no functional
reason at all.

>In any case, the comparative evidence still supports diving habits in
>H.erectus as the most likely explanation for their extremely thick & dense
>bone cortices.
>In fact, the combination of AEs (<1% non-aquatic) & dense bones (<10%
>non-aquatic) suggests that the probability of total non-aquaticness in
>H.erectus was less than 1:1000.

This kind of abuse of statistics sends shivers down my spine.
Let's see where that can get us: the combination of long legs and arms
(0% in aquatics) and the pattern of spinal kyphosis and lordosis (0%
in aquatics) gives a probability of 0 that H.erectus was aquatic.
Q.e.d.?

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

That's also the case for many remains of anatomically modern humans.
So, that doesn't imply that H.erectus or H.neanderthalensis were any
more "aquatic" than we are.

Gerrit

Marc Verhaegen

unread,
May 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/9/98
to

Gerrit Hanenburg >"Marc Verhaegen"

>>>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".
>Yes, but the relationship is not an exclusive one, and THAT is the
>point of the Hutchinson et al. paper.
Why looking for possible obscure explanations & neglecting the most probable
ones??
When I see ear exostoses, it's in a diver.

>>At least 99% of AEs are seen in swimmers.
>I'd like to see a reference.

PH Rhys Evans 1992 J Laryng Otol 106:214.
(If you have access to AJPA, see also, eg, VG Standen etc.1997 AJPA 103:119
&
G Manzi etc. 1991 AJPA 85:253)


>>The cooling, maceration & pH changes of diving predispose to ekzema,
>>infection & other complications which sometimes develop into AEs.
>Again, the relationship is not exclusive.

PH Rhys Evans 1992 J Laryng Otol 106:214-225.

>>>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.
>I'd like to see a reference.

PH Rhys Evans 1992 J Laryng Otol 106:214-225.

>>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.

Moreover it seems to develop only after years. Shanidar-1 & La Chapelle were
probably over 40 years old & must have dived for more than 30 years.
(By the way, I read here of LaChap., "His nose opening was situated very
superior and it was exteremely broad. The nose must have been very big and
protruding" - rather improbable in a cold land climate.)

>>>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.
>>How does "overall skeletal robusticity" explain the localised occipital
(vs
>>frontal) skull thickening in H.erectus?
>As far as I know the vault bones of Homo erectus are thick overall
>(e.g. frontal thickness in OH9 is 9 mm near bregma and the occipital
>bone is 10 mm near asterion) with some areas being more prominent,
>such as the supraorbital torus, occipital torus, angular torus, etc.
>There can be several reasons for differential growth of bone tissue,
>one of the most important being structural reinforcement at sites that
>are subject to mechanical stress (from the nuchal musculature in the
>case of the occipital bone).

See, eg, SC Gauld 1996 Allometric patterns of cranial bone thickness in
fossil hominids. AJPA 100:411.

Again, why ignoring the comparative evidence & the most likely explanations
for bone thickness and desparately seeking far-fetched causes?? (Abundant
bee brood consumption & liver eating have been proposed in "serious"
scientific journals!)


>>In any case, the comparative evidence still supports diving habits in
>>H.erectus as the most likely explanation for their extremely thick & dense
>>bone cortices.
>>In fact, the combination of AEs (<1% non-aquatic) & dense bones (<10%
>>non-aquatic) suggests that the probability of total non-aquaticness in
>>H.erectus was less than 1:1000.
>This kind of abuse of statistics sends shivers down my spine.
>Let's see where that can get us: the combination of long legs and arms
>(0% in aquatics) and the pattern of spinal kyphosis and lordosis (0%
>in aquatics) gives a probability of 0 that H.erectus was aquatic.

You don't have to shiver, you have to think a bit in terms of probabilities.
I said total non-aquaticness (ie, creatures that almost never
swim/dive/wade). The pattern of spinal kyphosis & lordosis is unique to
humans (100% ex-aquatic), long legs+arms are seen in semi-aquatics like
frogs, flamingos & proboscis monkeys. Moreover, our very long legs could
well be post-aquatic.
(Your way of reasoning would have given 0% probability of total
non-terrestriality - which I fully agree: I have no doubt that H.erectus
spent most of his time on land.)


>
>>How much time exactly they spent in the water is of course unknown. But
>>since we also know they crossed Gibraltar & Flores Strait, 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.
>That's also the case for many remains of anatomically modern humans.

Not for "many".


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

How many modern people could cross Gibraltar or Flores Strait?
And there is the other evidence (ear exostoses, dense skeleton, proboscis,
very strong arms, broad thorax). Everything fits with frequent diving, at
least the males, most probably for shellfish. And that's what I always have
claimed. For instance, I never said they did not walk on land.
We need better definitions of semi/aquatic etc.


Marc

JTHURB

unread,
May 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/9/98
to

In article <35540f0...@news.kijfhoek.nl.net>,
G.Han...@inter.nl.nomail.net (Gerrit Hanenburg) writes:

>Yes, but the relationship is not an exclusive one, and THAT is the
>point of the Hutchinson et al. paper.
>
>

That's contrary to the experiences I've had at all the ENT clinics I've ever
been to. AE is associated exclusively with cold water diving by all of the
practicing ENT doctors I've ever seen. I've had AE for at least 20 years
during which it has been diagnosed at least ten times by various military and
civilian physicians. They have no doubt that it was caused by my diving too
much in cold water. This pathology is rare even in cold water divers and some
of the less experienced doctors have never see it at all! I remember once at
Oak Knoll Naval Hospital they were so excited about my AE that the senior
physician insisted that all his subordinates come have a look.

Interestingly, I've never heard of AE being associated with cold-water surfers
most of whom-in California-are generally exposed to cold water much more than
divers. Makes one wonder if AE needs both the cold water and the pressure to
occur. This would definitely be another reason to suspect that fossils showing
evidence of this pathology were engaged in diving on a regular basis.

See National Geographic, March 1985, page 72.

As rare as AE is in modern man to begin with, Hutchinson's data indicating that
it sometimes results from other causes must be infinitesimal.

Thurber

Phillip Bigelow

unread,
May 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/9/98
to


Marc Verhaegen wrote:

> We need better definitions of semi/aquatic etc.

That is an understatement. My advice to you is to use the definitions
of ecologists and zoologists. Don't invent your own definition
to suit your end-goals. The Hardy/Morgan/Verhaegen ideas
of what is a "semi-aquatic" animal are somewhat divergent
from established definitions.
So, my chastisement is not just of you; it's also of Hardy/Morgan.
Mis-categorizations of taxa as "semi-aquatic", such as elephants
and tapirs, is not only inaccurate, but it is scientifically
counterproductive.
<pb>
--
remove "X" for e-mail.
http://www.scn.org/~bh162/index.html

Marc Verhaegen

unread,
May 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/10/98
to

Phillip Bigelow >Marc Verhaegen wrote:
>
>> We need better definitions of semi/aquatic etc.
>
>That is an understatement. My advice to you is to use the definitions
>of ecologists and zoologists. Don't invent your own definition
>to suit your end-goals. The Hardy/Morgan/Verhaegen ideas
>of what is a "semi-aquatic" animal are somewhat divergent
>from established definitions.

"We" was not "the aquaticists", but all who study human evolution.
What is the definition of ecologists & zoologists?
The only ecology professor I know uses the term in the same sense as I do,
eg,
Derek Ellis 1991 Is an aquatic ape viable in terms of marine ecology and
primate behaviour? In M Roede ed. The aquatic ape: fact or fiction? Souvenir
London.


Gerrit Hanenburg

unread,
May 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM5/10/98
to

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

>>>Hutchinson etc.: "clinical investigators have demonstrated that swimming &
>>>other aquatic activities are associated with AEs".

>>Yes, but the relationship is not an exclusive one, and THAT is the
>>point of the Hutchinson et al. paper.

>Why looking for possible obscure explanations & neglecting the most probable
>ones?? When I see ear exostoses, it's in a diver.

But the presence of EAE does not imply the level of aquaticness
suggested by the AAT. Modern humans with EAE as a result of regular
diving/swimming do not even approach that level.
Futhermore, Standen et al. (1997) found a correlation between EAE and
coastal populations, but they also found a high incidence at two
inland valley cemeteries (21.4% and 20%). Both Shanidar and La
Chapelle aux Saints are inland sites and that should make us wary of
premature conclusions about the etiology of their EAEs, even more so
with relation to their supposed semi-aquaticness.

>Moreover it seems to develop only after years. Shanidar-1 & La Chapelle were
>probably over 40 years old & must have dived for more than 30 years.
>(By the way, I read here of LaChap., "His nose opening was situated very
>superior and it was exteremely broad. The nose must have been very big and
>protruding" - rather improbable in a cold land climate.)

Last time I checked a cast of La Chapelle aux Saints the external
nasal opening was still in front of the face, below the orbits.
Allen's rule is not a law, the nasal cavity does have an important
function in homeothermic animals.



>>>How does "overall