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that paper of ours. . .



John Hutchinson mentions in a couple of places in his paper that both humans
and chickens have twice the muscle mass necessary to be classified as
"runners" and describes this as developmental "overkill".  If it's true,
that in general, vertebrates evolve in a physiological and biomechanical
sense to accomodate the function and stresses of their everyday life, what
is the explanation for this obvious overdevelopment in muscle mass?
When humans decide to weight train to build muscle mass, the usual program
is a system of overtaxing the muscles through load and stress put on the
body and intaking nutrients which result in building new muscle tissue to
anticipate and accomodate the increased work applied in subsequent workouts.
Similarly, if one stops the exercise, the body reverts to its original state
over time.
If running can be considered the most taxing activity amongst terrestrial
vertebrates and at the same time evolution demands that in general animals
develop form and function that is the most  economic to their survival, why
then would bipeds like humans, chickens, etc... develop such an excessive
amount of muscle mass that they would then have to maintain, when it isn't
apparently necessary to any primary function or ultimately to their
survival?

Mike Skrepnick