EVOLUTION: The Aquatic Ape

John K Clark (johnkc@well.com)
Sat, 18 Jan 1997 22:42:45 -0800 (PST)


Michael Lorrey <retroman@tpk.net> Wrote:

>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.

A cheetah would have to be within 100 yards of me to catch me? That is crazy.

>>Lots of animals can stand on their hind legs, you don't
>>need to develop bipedalism for that.

>But not for long periods.

You wouldn't need or want to expose yourself in this manner for long periods.
Pop up, see what's going on, then hide back down.

>The point is john is that being higher means you can see him
>when he is too far away to do anything to you.

If he's just a dot on the horizon then it's useless information. If he's close
enough to make you nervous then there is nothing you can do, you just better
hope he doesn't see you, otherwise he'll meet (or meat) you for lunch.

>This is how the meerkats work.

Meerkats are not bipedal an so are fast, often faster than the predator. This
never happens with humans because ground sloths are not carnivorous.

>>Scavenging was probably much more important than hunting
>>at this stage.

>Bull, maybe for the women

Lucy would have been a very poor hunter. She had no tools, she was slow, she
did not have sharp teeth and her claws were a joke.

Nobody knows what Lucy's "society" was like, but in modern hunter-gatherers
like the !Kung the woman not only take care of the children they also gather
mongongo nuts, which turns out to be over half of their food supply and is
much more reliable than the hunting the men do.

>>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 [...]
>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,

A sharpened bamboo spear would be harder to make than a simple stone tool,
and if you didn't have stone of bone tools to help you, almost impossible to
make. The only reason I can think of for Lucy to work exclusively in wood is
if she wanted to fool future archeologists.

>or a wooden arrow, like that used by montagnard peoples in
>SE asia or the Kalahari Bush people.

An arrow?! Arrows are High Technology, only a few thousand years old, you
might as well be talking about a LASER guided bombs. The Kalahari Bush people
are as smart as you or me, but Lucy was not. Lucy was an ancestor of humans,
however Lucy was not a human, we're talking about an animal with the brain of
a chimp.

Three and a half million years ago Lucy was fully bipedal and had a hand
almost as good as ours, but she was dumb, her brain ranged from 380 to 450 cc,
modern humans have a range of 1000 to well over 2000 cc.

>it funny how dates keep getting pushed farther back all the

I haven't noticed. Until some recent finds people thought you had to go back
10 or 20 million rears to find a ancestor common to both humans and apes,
now they say 5 or 6.

John K Clark johnkc@well.com

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