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Wed Jun 20, 2012, 04:44 AM

What Ardi teaches us

As many of you already know Ardipithecus Ramidus was an upright walking woodland biped with grasping feet that likely evolved as a response to a cultural change where females selected males that could provide food. Walking on two legs freed up the hands to accomplish this more efficiently.

I was thinking about all the movies we've seen of actors hunched over and we now know this was totally wrong as our ancestors descended from the trees to walk upright on two feet. Primitive man was not hunched over walking on his knuckles.

Then it dawned on me.

A true example of actual primitive behaviour it's taking candy and flowers with you on a first date.

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 10:05 AM

1. I think you are onto something there, Spitfire of ATJ!

Gifting does seem to be pretty universal human courtship behavior.

I'm going to call it "sophisticated" rather than "primitive" in my own personal pursuits, however.

Welcome to DU and the Anthropology Group! It just seems so slow here because we spend most of our time observing each other's behavior.

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Response to bluedigger (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 02:33 PM

2. Do you suppose seeking parental aproval was also required?

That seems to be something that is ingrained in the culture as well.

Now I'm picturing a father telling his daughter's date, "Don't slouch. Stand up straight." along with the usual, "Do you think you can provide for my daughter?"

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 06:10 PM

3. Probably not at that time.

Placating third parties probably wasn't necessary until more organized and complex group interaction developed. Physical dominance would have been satisfactory to answer any parental "objections".

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Response to bluedigger (Reply #3)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 09:24 PM

4. Did it ever occur to you

One needed to impress the mother?

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 12:22 PM

5. I think "freeing of the hands" was likely an effect rather than a cause of bipedalism.

It certainly was an important event which allowed many aspects of human culture to develop. Bipedalism is a much more energy efficient form of locomotion in terrestrial environments than is chimp style quadrupedalism. As our earliest hominin ancestors spent more time on the ground, evolving bipedalism may have been quite advantageous.

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Response to mysuzuki2 (Reply #5)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 02:09 PM

6. What makes you assume bipedalism is better?

It slows you down and makes you easy prey.

Knuckle walking is actually an evolved trait as our common ancestor was arboreal.

One branch of the family tree went one way towards knuckle walking and the other went upright. Both had about the same intelligence level for millions of years.

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #6)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 02:14 PM

7. Actually, bipedalism does not slow you down. Humans are actually

quite fast animals compared to our close relatives. I can send you some journal references if you like.

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Response to mysuzuki2 (Reply #7)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 05:34 PM

8. No need.

How about if we just see if someone can outrun a really pissed off chimp?

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #8)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 08:27 PM

9. actually I believe a human in good shape can outrun a chimp on a short sprint.

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Response to mysuzuki2 (Reply #9)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 09:04 PM

10. Link from Wiki Answers on the top speed of Chimp vs Human

The AVERAGE top speed of a chimpanzee on the ground is about 25mph*.

The fastest speed ever recorded for a man was about 27mph.

Note that the chimp speed was an average, this means there are both faster and slower individuals. The human record was a single man and there was no faster individual.

It is fair to say that on average they would be about the same. The same would also be true for the time at which both species can maintain this speed. Humans are moderately poor sprinters, as are chimpanzees.

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_land_speed_of_a_chimpanzee

Ever try to chase someone riding a bicycle? The average speed of a single speed bike is around 15 mph. The average walking speed is around 3 mph.

Bottom line, an average chimp can outrun an average human especially since the human will keep looking back to see if the chimp is gaining on them,....which he WILL be because he has nothing else on his mind but his target.

Chimps are also much stronger than humans and can easily win in a hand to hand contest.

In other words, the human will die tired.

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #10)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 11:21 AM

11. Not really. Strength of humans is in coordinated group activity and

use of tools. That chimp would charge after the human, but very likely find himself having been led into the middle of a circle of human hunters, armed with some very sharp and stout sticks -- jabbing spears. Sheer numbers and tools make up the difference.

Once wounded and trying to escape, an animal would have to contend with a very great, unmatched strength of humans which we seldom acknowledge. Since humans use only two limbs for locomotion, they consume less energy in doing it than creatures who must use four limbs. Aided by our specially evolved hips, legs and joints, we in a hunting group can go on and on and on, trotting, fast walking, and pursue a prey for miles and miles. It might think it has finally got rid of that noisy confusing bunch of pursuers, but -- an hour later -- lo and behold, there they are again, still coming, banging those sticks together, and even waving torches. Time to run again.

Sooner or later, we human hunter groups are going to run that exhausted creature down and get him, and that's a technique used within living memory in Africa to hunt even lions.

We humans are prodigious distance consumers, as our migrations have shown. As individuals, we might not be strong (though many lions have misjudged that in facing a Masai with a spear on his manhood hunt). We might not be fast for short spurts. But we tend to bunch together in very dangerous groups, with very dangerous weapons, and even fire to use when it's to our advantage. But we're the greatest threat to all, including other humans, when we get a prey on the run and start our group marathon trot in pursuit -- 20 miles a day easily. We isolate the one we want, start our hunting group after it and simply wear it down (or run it over a butte or cliff, as Indians did with buffalo, or up a dead end gulley toward which we've been herding it all along).

Frankly, I think by the time we had developed our clan hunting techniques, we were probably a fairly fearsome opponent to face.



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Response to superstring1 (Reply #11)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 11:45 AM

12. Okay,....but one on one in open ground we would get our ass kicked.

Maybe a big cat will play with it's food first but you would still end up as meat.

There's nothing really special about humans except our disbelief that it's happening during the kill.

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #12)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 11:57 AM

13. You assume helpless defense . Our survival was organized offense

We didn't hang around waiting to be cat prey. Some were caught, of course, but as the millennia went by, there were fewer and fewer, as our defenses began to be organized, and our offense against our antagonists became more proactive and aggressive. Lion in our neighborhood? Get the clan together, hunt it down and kill it or wound it and chase it off so that it'll turn tail whenever it smells a human.

We won, and we didn't win sulking around, mourning our helplessness. My friend, we took over our territories -- made war on our enemies of whatever species and won, and it was a *physical* as well as mental fight. Hence we can sit here this morning commenting on all this.

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Response to superstring1 (Reply #13)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 12:21 PM

14. Oh, I know we developed tools and that's what got us to the top of the food chain

I also suspect the reason dogs allowed themselves to be domesticated is because we found their kicker.



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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #14)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 12:44 PM

15. Yeah and funny things about us and dogs/wolves ---

They're about the only other hunters who hunt very largely the way we did. A great deal of a wolf's diet is mice or whatever other little snack like that they can come across near their den. When they hunt, however, they track and pursue, often for great distances, such as their accompanying caribou and reindeer on migrations in the North.

Supposedly, nomadic human hunters did the same. It's rather strange, isn't it, that these two competing predator species living off the same kind of prey would 'marry up' at least in part.

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Response to superstring1 (Reply #15)

Thu Jul 19, 2012, 12:59 PM

16. Actually, it makes sense.

Dogs can walk right past a field filled with tracks from a prey animal herd and they don't have the intelligence to look at those tracks direction and follow them. If they can't see or smell their prey, it doesn't exist.

Humans helped in that regard.

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Original post)

Mon Jul 23, 2012, 03:14 AM

17. hmm interesting theory.

 

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