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RE: [SACC-L] footprints

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  • Renee Garcia
    Hello All, I recall hearing the report on NPR world news and thought that the morphologic traits discussed were rather generic. The primary difference between
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 3, 2009
      Hello All,

      I recall hearing the report on NPR world news and thought that the morphologic traits discussed were rather generic. The primary difference between these and the Laetoli series is the divergence of the hallux, which does not appear here in the Kenyan sample.

      I disagree that the morphology of the modern human foot has changed shaped due to modern shoes. Apart from the bony irritations that develop from wearing constricting shoes, the phalanges and digits as well as the tarsal bones are not drastically different from those we can see in the archaeological record of just a hundred years ago or so among Native Americans and others who did not wear shoes. Further, modern shoes may change the skeletal morphology of an individual, again small, tight shoes, but I would say that it would be Lamarckian evolution that would produce this kind of change on a population. I am dubious that this is the case.

      Always interested in a good discussion on skeletal morphology.

      Renee Garcia
      Saddleback College


      From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com [SACC-L@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Andrew J Petto [ajpetto@...]
      Sent: Tuesday, March 03, 2009 7:21 PM
      To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [SACC-L] footprints

      Actually, both the shape of the modern foot and the length of the toes appear to have been significantly affected by the habit of wearing shoes. I have a slide comparing modern shoe-wearing feet and those that do not.


      Andrew J Petto, PhD
      Senior Lecturer
      Department of Biological Sciences
      University of Wisconsin -- Milwaukee
      PO Box 413
      Milwaukee WI 53201-0413
      FAX: 414-229-3926

      Now Available!!! Scientists Confront Intelligent Design and Creationism.

      "There is no word in the language that I revere more than teacher. None. My heart sings when a kid refers to me as his teacher and it always has."

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      The Prince of Tides

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Ann Popplestone" <ann.popplestone@...<mailto:ann.popplestone%40tri-c.edu>>
      To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Tuesday, March 3, 2009 8:34:29 PM GMT -06:00 US/Canada Central
      Subject: RE: [SACC-L] footprints

      They are assuming that the "long toes" on the Laetoli footprints make
      them not human-like. The toes aren't that long. The Laetoli prints are
      very human-like (just small).

      One human couldn't run much of anything to exhaustion. Several humans,
      chasing in turn, have been described as using this technique in a number
      of places. Actually, several experiments in Africa where an
      investigator sneaked up on a zebra or wildebeest and grabbed it by the
      tail indicated that a sneaky hominid could probably have speared a large
      mammal fairly frequently.

      From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> [mailto: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com> ] On Behalf
      Of Bob Muckle
      Sent: Tuesday, March 03, 2009 6:53 PM
      To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com<mailto:SACC-L%40yahoogroups.com>
      Subject: [SACC-L] footprints

      Last week there was news of some 1.5 million year old 'H. erectus' or
      'H. ergaste'r footprints being discovered in Kenya. The original story
      apparently is in 'Science' but I haven't seen that yet. It hasn't
      arrived at my college and we don't get on-line access.

      I have a few questions. First, the article I read in the popular press
      says these are the oldest humanlike footprints. Did I miss something?
      What about the Australopithecus prints at Laetoli?

      Second, the article suggests that bipedalism may have been used to 'run
      the animals in the heat', effectively causing them to collapse from
      exhaustion. It doesn't say, but I'm assuming the thinking is that since
      bipedalism allows greater endurance, that humans could outlast their
      prey in the heat. I've never heard this thinking before. Does anyone
      know of any ethnographies that describe this kind of hunting....running
      animals in the heat?

      If there isn't any ethnographic comparables, how could you test the
      hypothesis that they were running the anmals to exhaustion?


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