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Re: Some of Marc's Hypothesis

Subject: Re: Some of Marc's Hypothesis
From: "Marc Verhaegen"
Date: Fri, 24 Nov 2006 18:29:05 +0100
Newsgroups: sci.anthropology.paleo
"Chapstick" <chapstick@xxxxxxxxx> wrote in message 

>>>4) I have a lot of hypotheses (all based on facts), which >are often
>>> independent from each other, should not be confused with each other & be
>>> discussed apart, eg, from more to less probable:
>>> - The classic savanna theories are ridiculous nonsense.

> I agree with this one... so do most folks, when it is thought of just as a 
> lone hunter guy crossing the open plains with a spear.  The "mosaic" idea 
> has replaced it.

Not much better than the savanna theory: vague just-so speculations, not 
based upon comparisons with "mosaic" animals.

>>> - Homo after the split with Pan dived for sessile foods once.

> probable, IMHO.

Then you are an AATer...

>>> - Human ancestors were always strongly waterside.

> probable, IMHO.  However, I would not use the word "strongly" but just 
> that we tend to live close to available water and probably got some sort 
> of nutritional benefit from the water... even the bonobos eat some small 
> creature out of water.

Yes.  Homo after the H/P split ~5 Ma became a lot more aquatic: coconuts, 
turtle & bird eggs, diving for shellfish...

>>> - H.erectus dispersed along coasts, rivers etc.

> beats me... way beyond my knowledge base.

How else?  This is not based on fossil data (which say something on the 
fossils themselves, not directly on our ancestors), but on our physiological 
& anatomical features.

>>> - Apiths were predom.herbivores of calorie-poor plants.

> probable, and especially considering their size.

Yes, the larger apiths (aethiopicus-boisei, robustus) according to microwear 
damage seem to have been more herbivorous than the smaller specimens 
(Olduvai habilis).

>>> - Apith diet included sedges/papyrus/bamboo (eg, in the "poor" season).

> yes, probable.

>>> - Apith bipedality (partial, short-legged...) was very different from 
>>> our
>>> own.

> probable.

Curved phalanges & upward oriented glenoid fossae (=climbing arms overhead), 
short legs (probably even bent-knees-bent-hips), very broad pelvis + iliac 
flaring, etc.

>>> - The Homo-Pan LCA already was a partial biped.

> not in my opinion.

95% certain IMO.
How else can we explain the (discontinuous!) evolution from ventral to 
dorsal hand-walking = from palmigrady (monkeys, human infants, orangs often, 
gibbons) to KWing (different in P & G= in parallel)?
Both KWing & humanlike bipedalism are directly derivable from ancestral (H-P 
LCA) vertical wading-climbing.

>>> - Human ancestors lived in S.Asia 4-3 Ma (& possibly for a much longer 
>>> time span).

> unknown to me.  source?  I do beleive that R. Buckminister Fuller used to 
> say that we had been in the Southeast Asia area for a lot longer than we 
> figured.

I don't know Buckm.Fuller, but CT Yohn cs.2005 "Lineage-Spec.Expansions of 
Retroviral Insertions within the Genomes of Afr.Gr.Apes but Not Humans & 
Orangutans" PLoS Biol.3:1-11: "Comparison of H & other primate genomes 
provides evidence for a RV.infection that bombarded the genomes of P & G 3-4 
Ma", IOW, our ancestors were apparently not in Africa 4-3 Ma.

>>> - Stones & bones preserve well, so butchering is overestimated in human
>>> evolution.

> probable.

>>> - Human ancestors never were predom.carnivores (except perhaps 
>>> shellfish,
>>> seals...).

> unknown to me.  however, Native Americans in almost-historical times were 
> beleived to butcher meat and gorge themselves while butchering.  so, one 
> could say that for the space of a couple of days or weeks.. right after a 
> kill... that they were predominantly carnivorous.

OK, but "human ancestors" = of sapiens LCA ~150 ka or so.  After the sapiens 
LCA split into different populations, some became seal-hunters (Eskimo...), 
some became savanna-dwellers (KhoiSan, Austr.aboriginals), trop.forest 
dwellers (S.America, pygmies...), mountain-dwellers (Andes, Himalaya...), 
coastal (everywhere), riverside (everywhere), wetland (rice...)..., but 
before they split they were clearly strongly waterside.  The human 
gastro-intestinal tract is that of an omini-frugi-herbivore: blunt 
cheekteeth cusps with thick enamel, amylase in salive, stomach, liver, guts 
strongly resembling those of pigs, etc.

>>> - Apiths were not closer to humans genetically than to gorillas or 
>>> chimps.

> oh.  gadzooks.

What does "gadzooks" mean?

  I just don't know about this one either, but I claim layman
> status.  So, you are saying that we must have evolved an independant line 
> and that the apiths just died out...

The known apith fossils may well have died out, but IMO we can't say 
"apiths" died out, not more than we can say that dinosuars died out (birds 
descend from dinos): IMO chimps are related to S.Afr.apiths 
(africanus-robustus), & gorillas to E.Afr.apiths 

1) generally apiths lack all typically human features (very long legs, very 
large brain, external nose) and are much more Afr.ape than human-like: 
everybody can see how correct the following quotes are:
- Ferguson 1989: "The evolution of the australopithecine crania was the 
antithesis of the Homo line. Instead of becoming less ape-like, as in Homo, 
they become more 'ape-like'. Cranial proportions and ectocranial features 
that were thought to be unique among pongids evolved separately [?? --MV] in 
the australopithecines parallel [?? --MV] with the great apes. The features 
of KNM-WT 17000, therefore, are not as 'primitive' as they look. The robust 
Australopithecus did not evolve from a big-toothed pongid ancestor with 
large cranial superstructures, but from a small-toothed hominid with a 
rounder, smoother ectocranium, like A.africanus", IOW, apiths generally 
became more Afr.apelike through time.
- Bromage & Dean 1985: "Plio-Pleistocene hominids had markedly abbreviated 
[enamel] growth periods relative to modern man, similar to those of the 
modem great apes."
- Martin 1985: "Enamel thickness has been secondarily reduced in the African 
apes and also, although at a different rare and extent, in the orang-utan. 
Thick enamel, previously the most important characteristic in arguments 
about the earliest hominid, does not therefore identify a hominid."
- Falk 1987:  In the South African fossils including Taung, "sulcal patterns 
of seven australopithecine encocasts appear to be ape-like rather than 
- Falk 1985: "Cranial capacity, the relationship between endocast and skull, 
sulcal pattern, brain shape and cranial venous sinuses, all of these 
features appear to be consistent with an ape-like external cortical 
morphology in Hadar early hominids."
- Ferguson 1987: In the type specimen of A. afarensis, "the lower third 
premolar of 'A. africanus afarensis' LH-4 is completely apelike".
- Schoenemann 1989: "A.afarensis is much more similar cranially to the 
modern African apes than to modern humans."
- Kimbel cs.1984: "Olson's assertion that the lateral inflation of the 
A.L.333-45 mastoids is greater than in any extant ape is incorrect if the 
fossil is compared to P troglodytes males or some Gorilla mates and females. 
Moreover, the pattern of pneumatization in A afarensis is also found only in 
the extant apes among other hominoids ... Prior to the identification of 
A.afarensis the asterionic notch was thought to characterize only the apes 
among hominoids. Kimbel and Rak relate this asterionic sutural figuration to 
the pattern of cranial cresting and temporal bone pneumatization shared by 
A.afarensis and the extant apes."
- Zuckerman 1954: "... the fact that two presumed Paranthropus [robustus] 
skulls were furnished with high sagittal crests implied that they had also 
possessed powerful occipital crests and ape-like planum nuchale... Nuchal 
crests which are no more prominent - and indeed some less prominent - will 
be found in many adult apes."
- Laitman & Heimbuch 1982: In Sts.5, MLD-37/38, SK-47, SK-48, SK-83, Taung, 
KNM-ER 406, O.H.24 and O.H.5, "craniometric analysis showed that they had 
marked similarities to those of extant pongids. These basicranial 
similarities between Plio-Pleistocene hominids and extant apes suggest that 
the upper respiratory systems of these groups were also alike in 
appearance... Markedly flexed basicrania [are] found only in modern humans 
after the second year..."
- Franciscus & Trinkaus 1988: "The total morphological pattern with regard 
to the nasal region of Australopithecus can be characterized by a flat, 
non-protruding nasal skeleton which does not differ qualitatively from the 
extant nonhuman hominoid pattern, one which is in marked contrast to the 
protruding nasal skeleton of modern H.sapiens."

Large E.Afr.apiths have typically gorilla-like features, eg:
- Ryan & Johanson 1989: "Incisal dental microwear in A.afarensis is most 
similar to that observed in Gorilla."
- Johanson & Edey 1981:351: The composite skull reconstructed mostly from 
A.L.333 specimens "looked very much like a small female gorilla."
- Walker cs.1986: "Other primitive [they mean advanced gorilla-like... --MV] 
features found in KNM-WT 17000, but not know or much discussed for 
A.afarensis, are: very small cranial capacity; low posterior profile of the 
calvaria; nasals extended far above the frontomaxillar suture and well onto 
an uninflated glabella; and extremely convex inferolateral margins of the 
orbits such as found in some gorillas."
- Kennedy 1991: As for the maximum parietal breadth and the biauriculare in 
O.H.5 and KNM-ER 406 "the robust australopithecines have values near the 
Gorilla mean: both the pongids and the robust australopithecines have highly 
pneumatized bases."
- Robinson 1960: In O.H.5, "the curious and characteristic features of the 
Paranthropus skull... parallel some of those of the gorilla."
- Leakey & Walker 1988: The A.boisei "lineage has been characterized by 
sexual dimorphism of the degree seen in modern Gorilla for the length of its 
known history."
- Beynon & Wood 1986: A.boisei teeth showed "a relative absence of prism 
decussation"; among extant hominoids, "Gorilla enamel showed relatively 
little decussation ..."

S.Afr.apiths have typically chimp features, eg:
- Leakey 1981:74-75: "Alan [Walker] has analysed a number of 
Australopithecus robustus teeth and they fall into the fruit-eating 
category. More precisely, their teeth patterns look like those of 
chimpanzees... Then, when be looked at some Homo erectus teeth, be found 
that the pattern changed."
- Eckhardt 1987: "The 'keystone' nasal bone arrangement suggested as a 
derived diagnostic of Paranthropus [robustus] is found in an appreciable 
number of pongids, particularly clearly in some chimpanzees."
- Zihlman cs.1978: "P.paniscus provides a suitable comparison for 
Australopithecus [Sts.5]; they are similar in body size, postcranial 
dimensions and... even in cranial and facial features."
- Ferguson 1989: "A.africanus Sts.5, which... falls well within the range of 
Pan troglodytes, is markedly prognathous or hyperprognathous."
- Woodward 1925: In Taung, "I see nothing in the orbits, nasal bones, and 
canine teeth definitely nearer to the human condition than the corresponding 
parts of the skull of a modern young chimpanzee."
- Rak & Howell 1978: "The Taung juvenile seems to resemble a young 
chimpanzee more closely than it resembles L338y-6", a juvenile A.boisei.
- Bromage 1985: "In addition to similarities in facial remodeling it appears 
that Taung and Australopithecus in general, had maturation periods similar 
to those of the extant chimpanzee."
- Falk 1987: "I estimate an adult capacity for Taung ranging from 404-420 
cm2, with a mean of 412 cm2. Application of Passingham's curve for brain 
development in Pan is preferable to that for humans because (a) brain size 
of early hominids approximates that of chimpanzees, and (b) the curves for 
brain volume relative to body weight are essentially parallel in pongids and 
australopithecines, leading Hofman to conclude that 'as with pongids, the 
australopithecines probably differed only in size, not in design'." - 
Bromage & Dean 1985: In Taung, "pneumatization has also extended into the 
zygoma and hard palate. This is intriguing because an intrapalatal extension 
of the maxillary sinus has only been reported in chimpanzees and robust 
australopithecines among higher primates."
- Schultz 1941: "That the fossil ape Australopithecus [Taung] 'is 
distinguished from all living apes by the... unfused nasal bones.' as 
claimed by Dart (1940), cannot be maintained in view of the very 
considerable number of cases of separate nasal bones among orang-utans and 
chimpanzees of ages corresponding to that of Australopithecus."

All these are quotes on the cranio-dental data, the postcrania tell us the 
same: there's nothing uniquely human in apiths (all so-called "human-like" 
features were not derived, but primitive: already present in the H/P LCA).

 were a dead end?  and we just don't
> have any fossils from the homo line?  I can't or haven't followed your 
> reasoning for this assertion.  (you are saying that there will be fossils 
> that cover the gap between the LCA about 7 mya and 3 mya when homo arose?)

I can't predict the discovery of fossils, Chapstick...
I'm saying that I see no reason not to include most E.Afr.apiths into 
Gorilla, and S.Afr.apiths (parallel evolution) into Pan.

>>> - (All?) archaic Homo were parttime divers (at least in some seasons).

> probable.  most humans today live near water and can swim when given the 
> chance.


>>> - (All?) archaic Homo (eg, Petralona) regularly floated on their backs.

> perhaps, but I don't see a connection to our physiology.

To our *anatomy*, of course, see mu Med.Hyp.papers.

>>> - The Homo-Pan LCA was predom. a vertical wader-climber.

> improbable.  Chimps hate water.

A lot of chimps wade, see illustrations in AAT files

>>> - A.africanus & robustus belong to the genus Pan.

> unknown to me.

See quotes above.

>>> - A.anamensis-afarensis-aethiopicus-boisei belong to Gorilla.

> unknown to me.

See quotes above.

>>> - Early H.sapiens were still parttime waders (eg, fishing with harpoons 
>>> or nets).

> probable.
> thanks for posting some of your ideas.  i like this form better than just 
> a "your an idiot" type post or "you haven't read my theory" stuff.
> --chap.

Thanks, but it's not the first time I post these.
BTW, I'd never write "your an idiot."

 --Marc Verhaegen

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