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RE: BRACHIATING



 I believe the latest theory on hominid bipedalism is that it was a strategy
for standing taller in order to look out for predators.  It USED to be
thought that it was necessitated in order to have the hands free.
Richard Leakey has done a lot of work on this.

 I may have missed the post on this, so forgive me if this is "old news",
but decent, up-to-date information is SO difficult to get! :-)  Does anyone
know anything about a (possibly) new saurapod found in Oklahoma?   A friend
of mine has brought this up several times, but I can't locate any other
information regarding this alleged find.


  
Dwight Stewart
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        -----Original Message-----
        From:   Matthew Troutman [SMTP:m_troutman@hotmail.com]
        Sent:   Sunday, August 09, 1998 9:38 AM
        To:     dinosaur@usc.edu; sarima@ix.netcom.com
        Subject:        BRACHIATING


        <<This is still somewhat debated.  Personally, I think the evidence 
        favors some remnant of arboreality in early hominids.>>

        As do I.  

        <<As has been pointed out, arboreal primates are arboreal
quadrupeds. 
        However, the great apes are very specialized arboreal quadrupeds,
called 
        brachiators.  That is, they have *greatly* elongated arms they use
to 
        swing from branch to branch.  (This specialized form of locomotion, 
        complete with elongate arms is found convergently in the new-world 
        spider monkeys as well).>>

        This is what I figured, I didn't speculate on it further because I 
        couldn't remember the brachiators from the non-brachiators.

        <<Bipedal archosaurs all have a more typical "horizontal"
bipedality.  
        The origin of this is likely to be quite different.>>

        Right on!

        <<In the case of hominids, it was due to the overly long arms,
derived 
        from their unusual use in locomotion.>>

        This is what I think.

        Matt Troutman

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