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> What do they call what orangs (and gorillas, for that matter) do when they
> swing by their arms from the jungle gyms set up for them in zoos?
Yeah yeah, that's brachiation. Point is, brachiation was traditionally used to
explain the _morphology_ of hominids and other primates - i.e. because they
evolved the brachiating habit, they evolved the morphology they have. I'm saying
that *that* - not the fact that they _can_ brachiate - is the myth. Pongines
have long arms and supple hands, but detailed examination of their musculature
reveals that they really can't brachiate too well - same goes for hominines -
try it and, after a while, it hurts! Brachiators by design are gibbons and
spider monkeys, which have odd upper arm muscles and reduced thumbs (theory is,
a thumb's in the way if you're branch swinging).
An analogy to all this could be the issue of gliding vs. flapping flight in a
small pterosaur. If the pterosaur can flap, that doesn't mean it won't glide.
On the other hand, the fact that it can glide doesn't mean that it's adapted for
it, specially when it has flapping adaptations! Hope this makes sense.. if not
I've just dug an even deeper hole for myself..
"Oh we were born within an hour of each other, our mothers said we could be
sister and brother.."