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SV: Watery evolution of man?

I remember that paper too, but surely it has no relevance to the loss of
hair by humans, except as a strong indication that it had already
happened *before* 72+-42 KYA BP? Body lice is a variety of head lice,
but lives in clothing (as a substitute for the body pelage we do not
have). A date of 72 KYA for the large-scale adaption of clothing seems
eminently reasonable. That is about the time that Homo sapiens started
spreading outside the tropics and also about the time that MIS 4, the
first major stadial of the last glaciation, began. 
As a matter of fact you could probably use the northward expansion of H.
sapiens as a constraint on the minimum age for the adoption of clothing.
The minimum alternative in the paper 74-42 = 32 KA BP can safely be
discounted. By that time there were already humans living on the arctic
circle in the Pechora valley in an area where the *average* temperature
in winter today, during an interglacial, is about minus 20 centigrade.
Somehow I can't quite visualize humans running around naked there.

-----Ursprungligt meddelande-----
Från: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu] För Richard
W. Travsky
Skickat: den 12 januari 2008 07:15
Till: dinosaur@usc.edu
Ämne: Re: Watery evolution of man?

On Thu, 10 Jan 2008, T. Michael Keesey wrote:
> On Jan 10, 2008 9:34 PM, Richard W. Travsky <rtravsky@uwyo.edu> wrote:
>> On Thu, 10 Jan 2008, T. Michael Keesey wrote:
>>> Again, the problem here is that "hairlessness" seems to have arisen
>>> quite recently in our ancestry. This would basically require archaic
>> Work with lice that afflict humans suggests maybe 70kya
> Do you have a reference for that?

Yes and no. Had to go back and double check the context.

Molecular Evolution of Pediculus humanus and the Origin of Clothing
Ralf Kittler 1, Manfred Kayser and Mark Stoneking
Received 24 April 2003;  Revised 13 June 2003;  accepted 13 June 2003 
Published: August 19, 2003

>From the abstract

  A molecular clock analysis indicates that body lice originated not
  than about 72,000  42,000 years ago

which isn't the same thing as hair loss but may imply it. I do recall
seeing accounts in the press that drew that conclusion...

> [...]

See also

Published online 2007 March 7.  doi: 10.1186/1741-7007-5-7.

Pair of lice lost or parasites regained: the evolutionary history of 
anthropoid primate lice

David L Reed, Jessica E Light, Julie M Allen, and Jeremy J Kirchman