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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:57 pm 
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One big difference between apes and modern humans is that apes have relatively small home ranges. Meanwhile, humans can walk huge distances.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:01 pm 
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I accidentally got into a staring competition with a wild male orangutan on my honeymoon. When I realised he'd stopped eating and was staring. right. at. me, I broke eye contact quick smart. No way I was going to tick that guy off.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:04 pm 
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Matt Z wrote:

"So we modern humans are not confined to marathon type running, though we are very good at it." - Jebus

Compared to apes, modern humans are pretty good distance runners. However, compared to most ungulates we just plain suck. ... I have a really hard time accepting the idea of early humans running down big game, partly because there are so many easier ways to hunt. There's also evidence of early modern humans using other hunting methods.


Actually running on 2 feet is more efficient than running on 4, for long distance running. We also have sweat glands all over our body, compared to the ungulates that have lots of fur which cause it to tire more quickly. Plus we have hands, and so they could of made sacs to carry water while hunting. A lot of the predators of ungulates are sprinters, so the ungulates were naturally selected to be quick and agile.
Wolfs are an exception, they have pretty good endurance, but only 1/10 hunts result in a kill.

The point I was making though is that were not just sprinters, because we share genes from neanderthals who were quite the opposite of the africans, short, hairy, and stronger, we modern humans can also be short and stronger, with less capabilities for long distance running. I think that neanderthals would probably hunt with fire, scaring their prey off cliffs or into a trap, then they would either carry the kill home or prepare and eat it there.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=826HMLoiE_o Long distance hunting is still practiced today, but only by these guys.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:06 pm 
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Longer limbs offer another advantage besides a longer stride. Having longer arms would allow a modern human to throw a spear or other projectile with greater velocity.

Interestingly, Neanderthals aren't known to have used projectile weapons. It's believed they did their killing up close and personal with thrusting spears.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:35 pm 
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@Jebus - The Kalahari Bushman have developed an extreme lifestyle to deal with a very harsh environment. I doubt their hunting methods are typical. Also, they didn't always live in the Kalahari Desert. They moved there after being displaced by other tribes.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:18 pm 
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I guess the point I'm trying to make is that, while persistance hunting can and does work under the right conditions, and probably was practiced by some early humans, it's just one of many primative hunting methods. I think stone age hunters would have based their methods on factors like the type of game, the habitat and the available technology, and, in general, selected methods that provided the greatest payoff for the least effort. Exceptions, might include ritual hunts carried out as a rite of passage, or to earn special prestige within ones village or tribe.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 5:24 am 
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Just because speciation occurs, does not mean the original species goes extinct. This happened twice with homo erectus and they didn't go extinct until much later. Some species have been around for a very long time. If mutations are not beneficial, you only get a new species evolving if they move to a different environment where some of the mutations do have value. I'm not saying our last common ancestor with the gorillas was exactly the same as a gorilla, I'm just saying they are quite similar. I would guess they would be about as different as the different gorilla species. Just a guess though as I don't know specific details on them.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 6:08 pm 
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I remember reading a theory that the ancestors of modern chimps developed knuckle-walking sometime AFTER they diverged from the earliest hominids. Gorillas diverged even earlier and supposedly developed knuckle-walking independant of chimps (an example of convergent evolution).

Anyway, it's possible that gorillas and chimps have remained nearly unchanged over many millions of years, but I wouldn't assume this to be the case, especially since, in some ways, gorillas are more specialized that humans or chimps. For example, a gorillas digestive system is adapted to process tough, fiberous plants that humans and chimps can't digest. Likewise, the skulls, jaws and teeth of gorillas have adaptations not shared with other apes.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:30 pm 
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Gibbons are my favourite apes, they can walk upright second to us humans and are amazing acrobats. Plus there so furry!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:49 pm 
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The Bronx Zoo has a really nice gibbon exhibit. The gibbins actually share space with birds, fruit bats and Malayan Tapirs. Plus one side of the exhibit overlooks a man-made, indoor river with fish and turtles.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:33 pm 
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I felt like I was in biology class...
Without loosing time to theory of evolution, the difference would be much lesser if we would live in normal natural conditions. I know that many of us are narcissistic, but think about this. You know what was the average IQ in Ancient Rome? 140. It probably isn't that accurate, but you can reduce it by 20 (which is really big) and you'll still be better than today. That happened with every possible gene, because we now can survive no metter what. And after 6000 years (because that's how long we are here, don't you read that books, oh what it's name, yes Bible?) you can imagine what is the difference.
And, of course, if somebody would devote it's whole life to just working-out like animals he would be strong like some olympic lifter.
I guess that would decrease the difference from 2x to 1,5x max or maybe even 1,33x...

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:10 pm 
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Stefan, If you're going to make wild claims, quote references. The ancient Romans probably had similar IQs to today, perhaps slightly lower since IQs tends to rise over time.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:04 pm 
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What could have been their way of measuring IQ anyway? On such a large scale... Today however, the average persons knows a great deal more than almost anyone living before just a few hundred years ago.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:31 pm 
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A) How could anyone know the average IQ of an Ancient Roman when IQ tests wouldn't be invented for close to 2000 years?

B) No wild animal devotes it's life to working out. Animals do what they need to to survive and reproduce.

C) A captive, 150 lb chimp is still stronger than a 300 lb powerlifter.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 4:46 pm 
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Roman's IQ was CVL. They weren't even smart enough to know that "140" means! They had to take the Sanfordius-Benetius test, and we all know how hard that was.

Of course you have to take into account the lead intake from their pottery. They might have been CL without that.

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