Re: EVOLUTION: The Aquatic Ape

Michael Lorrey (
Tue, 08 Jan 2002 13:06:01 -0500

John K Clark wrote:
> Mark Crosby <> On Fri, 17 Jan 1997 Wrote:
> >the need to cover greater distances meant we would have
> >needed an alternate way to run fast, e.g., bipedalism;
> There is nothing fast about bipedalism. Humans have good endurance, because
> they have no hair and are good at getting rid of waste heat, but as for speed,
> with the possible exception of the ground sloth humans are the slowest mammal
> on earth.

The fastest human is around 18 mph in a dash for a few hundred yards, or
10 mph for miles and miles. The cheetah at 60 mph, or the lion at 30 mph
(both for only a few hudred yards) would still need to get within a 100
yards to ba able to overtakea human prey, except for slower children or
women burdened by them.

> >being able to stand fully erect also allows the animal to
> >see farther across the open savanna and more ably find prey
> >or avoid danger
> Lots of animals can stand on their hind legs, you don't need to develop
> bipedalism for that.

But not for long periods. The sort of arrangement that allows speedy
quadrupedal gait leaves them basically standing on their toes when on
hind legs only.

> Michael Lorrey <> Wrote:
> >the analytical abilities of hunting were amplified in males
> Scavenging was probably much more important than hunting at this stage.

Bull, maybe for the women, who with their wider flatter hips could not
run as fast or throw as hard as the males, since scavenging for grubs
and roots took less speed or moment arm, but more of an eye for detail.
Even Baboons are differentiating in this area.

> >On flat plains with high grass, the higher you can stand,
> >the earlier you get a warning of predators.
> If you can see a predator better by standing up high, it also means that the
> predator can see you better too, and because you're bipedal, the predator is
> a lot faster than you are. If you can't run away from danger a better
> strategy would be to hide and keep low.

The point is john is that being higher means you can see him when he is
too far away to do anything to you. This is how the meerkats work.

> >Additionally, the ability to throw rocks and spears with
> >decent power over decent distance also mandates an upright,
> >high stance with a hip structure that also is conducive to
> >bipedalism over quadupedalism. This is a fine example of
> >technology effecting evolution.
> But there were no spears, or tools of any sort at that time, ancestors like
> Lucy (Australopithecus Afarensis) with their tiny, chimp sized brains were
> too dumb to make them. The first very primitive tools were made by
> Homo Erectus, an animal with a much larger brain than Lucy, although much
> smaller than modern brains. These very early tools do not show up in the
> fossil record until well over a million years after bipedalism was fully
> developed.

Stone tools did not show up, or haven't been found yet (it funny how
dates keep getting pushed farther back all the time). THis does not rule
out tools made from biodegradable materials. You'd be amazed at how much
damage a sharpened bamboo spear can do to an animal, or a wooden arrow,
like that used by montagnard peoples in SE asia or the Kalahari Bush

Homo Erectus is a good example of a parallel to our present cessation of
development. Once they developed a level of technology sufficent to
provide them with a comfortable living, further evolution was stagnated.
Dr. Leakey has said,"I get so bored with Erectus, that dumb guy was
making the same damn tools for a million and a half years."

> >Due to the computational demands of intuitive trajectory
> >calculation, and the communication demands of hunting in
> >teams or packs, lager brain cases were seen as an
> >evolutionary advantage.
> It's hard to believe that a pea brain like Lucy could do something that
> sophisticated, throwing something accurately is very difficult, it takes a
> lot of brain power. Even modern humans would have a hard time making a living
> by throwing baseballs at swiftly moving animals, much less irregular shaped
> shaped rocks.

Modern humans do not have to do so. Their next meal no longer depends on
it, which is why the further evolution of the human brain has ceased.
However, if you looked at Pre-TV kids, I'll bet the percentage who could
throw within a strike zone was pretty high.


Michael Lorrey ------------------------------------------------------------ President Northstar Technologies Agent Inventor of the Lorrey Drive

Website: Now Featuring: Mikey's Animatronic Factory My Own Nuclear Espionage Agency (MONEA) MIKEYMAS(tm): The New Internet Holiday Transhumans of New Hampshire (>HNH) ------------------------------------------------------------ Transhumanist, Inventor, Webmaster, Ski Guide, Entrepreneur, Artist, Outdoorsman, Libertarian, Arms Exporter-see below. ------------------------------------------------------------ #!/usr/local/bin/perl-0777---export-a-crypto-system-sig-RC4-3-lines-PERL @k=unpack('C*',pack('H*',shift));for(@t=@s=0..255){$y=($k[$_%@k]+$s[$x=$_ ]+$y)%256;&S}$x=$y=0;for(unpack('C*',<>)){$x++;$y=($s[$x%=256]+$y)%256; &S;print pack(C,$_^=$s[($s[$x]+$s[$y])%256])}sub S{@s[$x,$y]=@s[$y,$x]}