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quote:Originally posted by GordonPPerhaps I've not made myself clear. I never intended to infer that all the apes disappeared, obviously the rest of the apes are still with us. All am am trying to say is the within the group the apes with the mutation outbread those that did not posses it. And either infiltrated other similar groups with the same result or killed them.
quote:Originally posted by GordonPInteresting discussion. Try this for another hypothetical senario.The climate in North Africa starts to change, as the years pass the forest retreats to central Africa and all the apes, dependent on the trees for safe haven, retreat with the forest. One particular species begin to spend most of their time on the fringes of the forest, already a user of tools (they use stones to break open nuts)they begin to scavenge on the remains of kills left by the preditors that now inhabit the open areas, using their tools to break open the bones which remain behind in order to get at the bone marrow.They live in small family groups led by a dominant male, usually the biggest and strongest male. The groups comprise, the dominant male, several adult females, the young and several adult subordinant males. The dominant male regards the adult females as his wives and guards them from the other males. They are still reliant on the trees for safe haven from preditors and only venture onto the open ground while one of the group is in position high in the trees as a watchout.So far nothing has happened to effect the evolution of the species.One day a male is born with a slight mutation, nothing spectacular, just a deformation of the pelvic bone. He still moves about most of the time with his knuckles almost brushing the ground but he can do something none of the rest of the group can do, he can take many steps in an almost upright position, the rest of the group can manage only three or four steps in this position before dropping their hands to the ground. (As with many apes today).Eventually he approaches maturity and driven by testosterone challenges the dominant male. Not yet fully mature his chances of success are practically nil and being something of a lightweight will probably always remain so.As the two face each other he does something that has never been done before, he picks up a short stout piece of broken branch, stands almost upright and closes in on the dominant male who also stands almost upright in defiance. After a very short while dancing around the dominant male can stand upright no longer and drops his hands to the ground, he is now defenceless. The young male knocks seven bells out of him and takes over the harem.Something new has happened, an ape has used a tool as a weapon, and changed the path of evolution. Now it is not the biggest and strongest who rules but the one who can stand upright the longest. As the ruler of the group has the females to himself his genes will predominate the next generation and so on and so forth.G W Pipes
quote:Originally posted by xethoPeople didn't evolve from apes, we shared a common ancestor.That common ancestor wasn't overly specialized for a life in either a forested or open environment. The ones that ended up living primarily in grasslands eventually became humans, the ones that lived in forests became monkeys.
quote:Originally posted by thebrain13I think the key issue is defense. It's been brought up that taller creatures can see more prey, but on the flip side more predators can see you. if you look at when the dinosaurs roamed the earth you might notice that most of the carnivores walked upright, while most of the herbivores walked on all four.
quote:The diet is another advantage to walking upright. Herbivores need to eat a lot more then carnivores so they have more weight to carry around.
quote:Originally posted by another_someonequote:Originally posted by thebrain13I think the key issue is defense. It's been brought up that taller creatures can see more prey, but on the flip side more predators can see you. if you look at when the dinosaurs roamed the earth you might notice that most of the carnivores walked upright, while most of the herbivores walked on all four.This no doubt explains why giraffes and elephants are so short, and why kangaroos walk on all fours, or why lions walk on their hind legs.quote:The diet is another advantage to walking upright. Herbivores need to eat a lot more then carnivores so they have more weight to carry around. This part is true, so carnivores tend to be sleeker, but they are no more likely to be bipedal (in fact, a bipedal cheetah would not run as fast).Back to your issue of defence, there is one point that may be relevant, and that is communal defence. Many social animals will post lookouts that give the social group an early warning of danger, and allow them time to prepare a communal defence against the threat. For these animals, particularly given the high visibility that inevitably derives from having a large community of animals congregating together, early detection of a threat is more important that camoflage.George
quote:Originally posted by thebrain13my point on defense was if you can defend yourself you can afford to be seen. Ive never seen any creature try to attack full grown elephants and girraffes. And as far as the evolution of marsupials in australia, well thats another debate.
quote:Lastly lets not forget that dinosaurs had much longer to evolve than mammals, the giant asteroid sent them back in evolution.
quote: walking upright is a more advanced feature.
quote: Im sure if there were raptors and giant tyrannosaurs walking the earth today, girraffes elephants and kangaroos would find themselves on the extinct list.
quote:There are differing views on how Lucy or her ancestors first became bipedal full-time.The so-called 'savanna theory' on how A. afarensis evolved bipedalism hangs on the evidence that around 6 to 8 million years ago there seems to have been a mass extinction of forest dwelling creatures including the oldest hominins recognizable: Sahelanthropus tchadensis and Orrorin tugenensis. This triggered a burst of adaptive radiation, an evolutionary characteristic that generates new species quickly. Lucy's genetic forebears were tree dwelling apes, but in Lucy's world the trees would have been much fewer, and Lucy would have been forced to find a living on the flat savanna. Being bipedal would have had evolutionary advantages. For example, with the eyes higher up, she could see further than quadrupeds. Bipedalism also saves energy. The disadvantages of bipedalism were great—Lucy was the slowest moving primate of her time, for example, but according to the hypothesis, the advantages of bipedalism must have outweighed the disadvantages.There had previously been problems in the past with designating Australopithecus afarensis as a fully bipedal hominine. In fact these hominines may have occasionally walked upright but still walked on all fours like apes; the curved fingers on A. afarensis are similar to those of modern-day apes, which use them for climbing trees. The phalanges (finger bones) aren't just prone to bend at the joints, but rather the bones themselves are curved. Another aspect of the Australopithecus skeleton that differs from human skeleton is the iliac crest of the pelvic bones. The iliac crest, or hip bone, on a Homo sapiens extends front-to-back, allowing an aligned gait. A human walks with one foot in front of the other. However, on Australopithecus and on other ape and ape-like species such as the orangutan, the iliac crest extends laterally (out to the side), causing the legs to stick out to the side, not straight forward. This gives a side-to-side rocking motion as the animal walks, not a forward gait.The so-called aquatic ape theory compares the typical elements of human locomotion (truncal erectness, aligned body, two-leggedness, striding gait, very long legs, valgus knees, plantigrady etc.) with those of chimpanzees and other animals, and proposes that human ancestors evolved from vertical wader-climbers in coastal or swamp forests to shoreline dwellers who collected coconuts, turtles, bird eggs, shellfish etc. by beach-combing, wading and diving. In this view, the australopithecines largely conserved the ancestral vertical wading-climbing locomotion in swamp forests ("gracile" kind, including Australopithecus afarensis and A. africanus) and later more open wetlands ("robust" kind, including Paranthropus boisei and P. robustus). Meanwhile, Plio-Pleistocene Homo had dispersed along the African Rift valley lakes and African and Indian ocean coasts, from where different Homo populations ventured inland along rivers and lakes. However, this theory is not taken seriously by anthropologists.
quote:thebrain13I think the key issue is defense. It's been brought up that taller creatures can see more prey, but on the flip side more predators can see you. if you look at when the dinosaurs roamed the earth you might notice that most of the carnivores walked upright, while most of the herbivores walked on all four.
quote:Some argue that if Tyrannosaurus were a scavenger, another dinosaur had to be the top predator in the Amerasian Upper Cretaceous. Top prey were the larger marginocephalians and ornithopods. The other tyrannosaurids share so many characteristics that only small dromaeosaurs remain a choice as top predators. In this light, scavenger hypothesis adherents have hypothesized that the size and power of tyrannosaurs allowed them to steal kills from smaller predators.
quote:The Secretary Bird is largely terrestrial, hunting its prey on foot, and besides the caracaras (such as Polyborus plancus) is the only bird of prey to do so habitually. Adults hunt in pairs and sometimes as loose familial flocks, stalking through the habitat with long strides. Prey consists of insects, small mammals, lizards, snakes, young birds, bird eggs, and sometimes dead animals killed in brush fires. Larger herbivores are not hunted, although there are some reports of Secretary Birds killing young gazelles.Young are fed liquified and regurgitated insects directly by the male or female parent and are eventually weaned to small mammals and reptile fragments regurgitated onto the nest itself. The above foodstuffs are originally stored in the crop of the adults.Secretary Birds have two distinct feeding strategies that are both executed on land. They can either catch prey by chasing it and striking with the bill or stomping on prey until it is rendered stunned or unconscious enough to swallow. Studies of this latter strategy have helped construct the possible feeding mechanisms employed by dinosaur-like terror birds that once walked the earth five million years ago.
quote:thebrain13many dinosaurs were warm blooded, and some had fur.
quote:thebrain13And I know mammals had technically the same amount of time to develope as dinosaurs, but mammals specialized in being smaller, dinosaurs specialized in being humongous. Dinosaurs had more time to develope as the largest creatures on earth. Mammals relatively recently adopted that role.
quote:Originally posted by GordonPOur direct ancestors, I'll call them "Ape type x" live in small family groups on the fringes of the forest. Each group is extremely territorial and any member of another group who strays into their territory is liable to get killed and eaten, unless the offender is female in which case she will be captured and added to the dominant male's harem.In this way each group is relitively isolated from the other groups almost as if each was on a separate island.Now let me original senario run.
quote:What you describe is pretty much how chimps behave anyway. It is not enough to create the level of isolation required.
quote:The first question you have to ask is whether the changes are sex linked or not. Since there is a sexual dimorphism in any species with regard to pelvic bone structure, there is little reason to believe that this change is linked to a sex gene. Thus, even with the regular influx of females from the outside, it would still quickly dilute and genetic abnormality in the pelvic bone structure of Ape type x.
quote:Originally posted by GordonPThe ancestors of chimps and the ancestors of my hypothetical type x lived different lifesyles. The chimps spent most of the time in the trees, where the use of a tool as a weapon offers no real advantages as both hands are needed to move quickly through the tree-tops. Type x spent most of the time on the ground where the ability to stand upright during combat with weapons offers massive advantages during a fight to establish who is the dominant male. The level of isolation required is maintained by cannibalism. Even as recently as a few hundred years ago cannibalism was practised by some humans.QuoteGorillas also spend their entire life on the ground, because they are just too heavy to climb trees. The difference is that they still live in the forest, so their visibility is limited, and everything they do is nearby. They also are herbivores (with the exception of a few insects), so they don't need to run after their food, whereas Chimpanzees are omnivores who do chase and hunt other monkeys (and even have been observed to resort to cannibalism).QuoteThe mutation of the hip bone would not be diluted because of the power the dominant male held. As undisputed leader of the group he would father most if not all of the next generation. (Getting to close to one of his females while he was anywhere near would lead to a bad beating or could be fatal).What happens in practice is that a male will hold on to a harem that is just as large as he can manage. What in fact this means is that he does not quite manage to hold on to this size of harem, and quite often some of the females will sneakily wonder off for a quickie with some other male. If the ground living apes and tree living apes can interbreed, there is no reason to assume that regular (if not frequent) interbreeding will not occur. Either a tree living ape will come down to the floor, quickly mate, and rush back up into the trees where the ground living ape cannot follow; or a tree living male will quickly drop down to the ground (while the dominant male) is distracted elsewhere, have a quickie with one of the females, before disappearing back up into the trees.Ofcourse, as I said, it depends upon whether the two groups can efficiently interbreed.The different in posture does have significant implications for breading. One different is ofcourse that humans are uniquely capable of mating face to face; but another difference is that all non-human female apes have a large pink vaginal swelling when they are on heat, whereas the upright posture of human females does not make that practical, and thus the ways in which a human male can tell if a human female is on heat must be different to that which most other apes use (humans use colour of cheeks and lips and size of breasts as important cues; although both human and non-human apes can still use smell, and ofcourse behavioural changes). If a male cannot properly tell that a female is on heat, then he will be less motivated to mate with her, and thus simply changing the cues for mating can often be enough to separate two groups into distinctly separate breeding groups.Ofcourse, none of this explains how one group became habitually tree living and another habitually ground living if they shared the same space, and were still interbreeding (what we have explained is that once they were separated into these two groups, they may not easily reintegrate – but the separation had to come about first, and this would most logically still require geographic isolation of a very small group).George
Gorillas also spend their entire life on the ground, because they are just too heavy to climb trees. The difference is that they still live in the forest, so their visibility is limited, and everything they do is nearby. They also are herbivores (with the exception of a few insects), so they don't need to run after their food, whereas Chimpanzees are omnivores who do chase and hunt other monkeys (and even have been observed to resort to cannibalism).QuoteThe mutation of the hip bone would not be diluted because of the power the dominant male held. As undisputed leader of the group he would father most if not all of the next generation. (Getting to close to one of his females while he was anywhere near would lead to a bad beating or could be fatal).
The mutation of the hip bone would not be diluted because of the power the dominant male held. As undisputed leader of the group he would father most if not all of the next generation. (Getting to close to one of his females while he was anywhere near would lead to a bad beating or could be fatal).
quote:Originally posted by GordonPWhat I envisage is a group of apes that are extremely territorial and permit no other apes in their territory, neither tree dwellers or ground dwellers.Each group of type x won't permit intrusion by members of other type x groups or even tree dwelling type y's or z's, the penalty is to be eaten.
quote:Of coarse the dominant male will have to be constantly watching the other males in his group and will not always be successful in preventing the odd meeting. However as I said it is sufficient for him to father MOST of the next generation, that way a significant number of the next generation will inherit the mutated gene. After a few generations the mutated gene will have spread through the majority of the population, males and females alike,as the dominant ape is almost certainly going to possess the mutated gene.
quote:Darwin said that evolution is very much like the life of a soldier, long periods of time pass when nothing much happens, interspersed with short periods of frantic activity.The evolution of bipedel motion would have been one such short period of frantic activity and with my sex and violence theory COULD have happened in perhaps a few hundred generations. Overnight in evolutionary terms.
quote:Originally posted by ROBERTNo-one in this thread has put forward the temperature regulation argument for an upright posture:-" Many mammals have complex chambers with moist linings in the nose and a heat exchange system to keep the blood cool as they pant to speed up evaporation. This was not an option for early hominids as they did not have a muzzle in which to house a cooling system. However, an upright posture would solve many of the problems, especially combined with a reduction in body hair. Upright walking means that less of the body surface is exposed directly to the sun at midday, while heat can be lost faster and any breezes are more likely to cause evaporation of sweat and so cool the body down. Retaining hair on the top of the head and perhaps the shoulders acts as a shield for the areas directly exposed to the sun. An improved ability to control body temperature would mean that our ancestors could forage around midday, when there was less competition and fewer predators nearby. If this is correct, hair loss probably occurred relatively early in evolution, and is linked to bipedalism. " http://www.fortunecity.com/emachines/e11/86/human.html
quote:"You are also assuming an efficiency that does not exist in nature."
quote:"But why would the dominant male always have the mutated gene"?
quote:"Firstly, if a mutated male breads with an unmutated female, there is only a 50% change that the offspring will carry the mutated gene, thus both genes would continue to survive in the population in perpetuity (the exact percentage of the population carrying the gene may vary, depending on the advantages the gene bring; but it will neither will ever actually be eradicated from the population)".
quote:Darwin said that evolution is very much like the life of a soldier, long periods of time pass when nothing much happens, interspersed with short periods of frantic activity.
quote:Originally posted by GordonPquote:"You are also assuming an efficiency that does not exist in nature." .On the contrary, many animals have clearly defined territories which they guard jealously.
quote:quote:"But why would the dominant male always have the mutated gene"? Because the mutated gene gives an obvious advantage in a fight for the right to be dominant male.
quote:True if we are talking about one mating but if the mutated male has almost inclusive rights to all the females in the group then we are talking about 50% of the next generation carrying the gene. He maintains almost exclusive rights because of the advantage he has in personal combat due to his mutated gene. His successor in the next generation will almost certainly carry the gene and have the same advantage. When he starts mating with his generation of females 50% of them will also be carrying the gene, so any mating such a female will result in 100% of the offspring carrying the gene and 50% of his offspring will carry the gene when mating with a female that does not carry the gene. Therefore 75% of the next generation will carry the gene. Allowing for the odd bit of hanky-panky by the other males, 50% of which will be carrying the gene anyway, let's say 60% of the second generation. By the 4th or 5th generation the gene will be carried by 99% of the group.
quote:quote:Originally posted by GordonPDarwin said that evolution is very much like the life of a soldier, long periods of time pass when nothing much happens, interspersed with short periods of frantic activity.I believe I read that in "Origin of the species" or it may have been in "The descent of man". Also the quote may not be word perfect but the meaning is clear.
quote:Originally posted by GordonPDarwin said that evolution is very much like the life of a soldier, long periods of time pass when nothing much happens, interspersed with short periods of frantic activity.
quote:Punctuated equilibrium (or punctuated equilibria) is a theory in evolutionary biology which states that most sexually reproducing species will show little to no evolutionary change throughout their history. When evolution does occur, it happens sporadically (by splitting) and occurs relatively quickly compared to the species' full duration on earth. Punctuated equilibrium is commonly contrasted against the theory of phyletic gradualism, which hypothesizes that most evolution occurs uniformly and by the steady and gradual transformation of whole lineages (anagenesis). Punctuated Equilibrium's HistoryPunctuated equilibrium originated as an extension of Ernst Mayr's concept of genetic revolutions by peripatric and allopatric speciation. Although the workings of the theory were proposed and specifically identified by Mayr in 1954, most historians of science recognize Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould's 1972 paper as the principal source of its acceptance (by both paleontologists and evolutionists) and as the foundational document of a new and serious paleontological research program (Mayr 1992: 25-26, Shermer 2001: 102-113). Punctuated equilibrium differed from Mayr simply in that Eldredge and Gould had placed considerably greater emphasis on stasis, whereas Mayr was generally concerned with explaining the morphological discontinuity (or punctuational patterns) found in the fossil record.The Eldredge and Gould paper was presented at the Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America in 1971. The symposium focused its attention on how modern microevolutionary studies could revitalize various aspects of paleontology and macroevolution. Tom Schopf, who organized that year's meeting, assigned Stephen Jay Gould the topic of speciation. Gould recalls that "Eldredge's 1971 publication [on Paleozoic trilobites] had presented the only new and interesting ideas on the paleontological implications of the subject—so I asked Schopf if we could present the paper jointly." (Gould 2002: 775) They did. According to Gould "the ideas came mostly from Niles, with yours truly acting as a sounding board and eventual scribe. I coined the term punctuated equilibrium and wrote most of our 1972 paper, but Niles is the proper first author in our pairing of Eldredge and Gould." (Gould 1991)
quote:Originally posted by GordonPI have over simplfied the theory in order to save typing.Of course a group will never defend it's territory with 100% success but it is not neccessary for the group to be totally isolated. Indeed I have said that the gene pool may have been affected by capured females. This will not matter in the long run.Point two. The mutated gene does not have to offer an advantage in every situation. But only in a fight to be dominant male. In such a situation the ability to stand upright longer than your opponant offers a massive advantage when you have a weapon like a baseball bat in your hand. Even if the other male picks up such a weapon his inability to stand upright for more than a few steps makes the weapon almost usless. The male with the mutated gene will win every time.x and y. After many generations x is walking almost upright most of the time. They still eat almost anything edible. x eats y.Despite the comlexities of reproduction it is neccessary only for the ape with the mutant gene to father a significant number of the next generation. As one of the next generation with the gene will become dominant male (as I have explained above) the gene will quickly dominate the gene pool. We are talking about a group with a population of perhaps 15 to 20, or less.
quote:Regarding the Darwin quote, it doesn't really matter where I read it.
quote:Originally posted by GordonPSupposing our ancestors were already a seperate species of ape distinct from the ancestors of the other apes.
quote: (Chimps and Gorilla's don't interbreed, at some time their linage must have split without isolation)
quote:The Bwindi-Impenetrable Great Ape Project (BIGAPE) was begun in 1996 in Bwindi-Impenetrable National Park in southwestern Uganda. The research project's central goal is a better understanding of the ecological relationship between the park's populations of mountain gorillas (Gorilla gorilla beringei) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii). The world population of mountain gorillas is currently estimated at 600, half of which live in the 331 square kilometers of Bwindi. The Bwindi chimpanzee population size is unknown but roughly estimated at 350-400. The nearby Virunga Volcanoes Conservation Area has a population of 300 mountain gorillas but no chimpanzees, making Bwindi the only forest in Africa in which these two apes occur together.
quote:Originally posted by another_someonequote:Originally posted by GordonPSupposing our ancestors were already a seperate species of ape distinct from the ancestors of the other apes.I certainly know of no proof that full time bipedalism and speciation happened at the same time, and it seems quite possible that speciation happened first, and then full time bipedalism happened subsequently as a consequence of genetic drift.Which is what I proposed originally. A particular species of ape begin to live on the fringes of the forest quote: (Chimps and Gorilla's don't interbreed, at some time their linage must have split without isolation)What makes you think that?Think what, that they don't interbreed or that their linage must have split without isolation?[/size=2rcf.usc.edu/~stanford/bigape.htmlQuoteThe Bwindi-Impenetrable Great Ape Project (BIGAPE) was begun in 1996 in Bwindi-Impenetrable National Park in southwestern Uganda. The research project's central goal is a better understanding of the ecological relationship between the park's populations of mountain gorillas (Gorilla gorilla beringei) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii). The world population of mountain gorillas is currently estimated at 600, half of which live in the 331 square kilometers of Bwindi. The Bwindi chimpanzee population size is unknown but roughly estimated at 350-400. The nearby Virunga Volcanoes Conservation Area has a population of 300 mountain gorillas but no chimpanzees, making Bwindi the only forest in Africa in which these two apes occur together. In other words, even today, with this one exception, Chimpanzees and Gorillas do not inhabit the same forests.How is this incompatable with my theory? Speciation can happen to different groups living in different ares of the same jungle. G W Pipes
The Bwindi-Impenetrable Great Ape Project (BIGAPE) was begun in 1996 in Bwindi-Impenetrable National Park in southwestern Uganda. The research project's central goal is a better understanding of the ecological relationship between the park's populations of mountain gorillas (Gorilla gorilla beringei) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii). The world population of mountain gorillas is currently estimated at 600, half of which live in the 331 square kilometers of Bwindi. The Bwindi chimpanzee population size is unknown but roughly estimated at 350-400. The nearby Virunga Volcanoes Conservation Area has a population of 300 mountain gorillas but no chimpanzees, making Bwindi the only forest in Africa in which these two apes occur together.
quote:Originally posted by thebrain13hey anothersomeone, they just found evidence that kangaroos used to eat meat.
quote:A flesh-eating kangaroo and a crocodile that jumped down on its prey from the trees are drawing the crowds in Sydney, Australia. The extinct animals are just two examples of the extraordinary giant creatures that once roamed the continent. Their remains have only recently been unearthed and are throwing new light on the so-called megafauna that lived in the region many thousands and even millions of years ago and more.
quote:Tree-kangaroos are macropods adapted for life on trees. They are found in the rainforests of New Guinea, far north-eastern Queensland, and nearby islands, usually in mountainous areas.It is understood that tree kangaroos evolved from creatures similar to modern kangaroos and wallabies, as they retain many standard macropod adaptations to life in the plains—notably the massive hind legs and long, narrow feet which allow orthodox macropods to travel fast and economically on the ground. Tree kangaroos have developed exceptionally long tails for balance, and stronger forelimbs for climbing. The feet are shorter and wider, they have longer claws on all feet, and rubbery soles for better grip.The ancestors of all kangaroos are believed to have been small arboreal marsupials that looked like some of Australia's present-day possums. The earliest macropods diverged from this line when they descended to the ground and evolved bodies adapted for rapid motion over the earth and rocks. Why ancestors of the tree kangaroos at some point returned to the trees is not known.Tree kangaroos are slow and clumsy on the ground: they move at about walking pace and hop awkwardly, leaning their body far forward to balance the heavy tail. But in trees they are bold and agile. They climb by wrapping the forelimbs around the trunk of a tree and hopping with the powerful hind legs, allowing the forelimbs to slide. They are expert leapers: 9-metre downward jumps from one tree to another have been recorded, and they have an extraordinary ability to jump to the ground from height without ill effect: 18 metres or more.
quote:Originally posted by GordonPSkull Fossil Opens Window Into Early Period Of Human Origins. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/07/0710_020710_chadskull_2.html It seems that scientists are having to consider the possiblity that bipedalism may have evolved while our ancestors still lived in a wooded enviroment. The discovery of the skull which has been classed as hominid and named Sahelanthropus tchadensis took place in an area 1500 miles west of the Rift Valley in Africa. The skull is estimated to be between 6 and 7 million years old. At that time the environment in this area is thought to have been forests and wooded savanna.
quote:Exactly where Sahelanthropus belongs on the family tree is not possible to determine at this time. Despite the detailed analysis and published claims, the question of identity remains open-ended. Is it actually a new hominid, or a variation of some other previously identified species, or perhaps even an ape? Some observers have suggested, for example, that because of its small canine teeth, Sahelanthropus may be a female chimp. Brunet was in the field in Chad and unavailable for comment. In an interview with a newspaper reporter in Chad, however, he said: "This brow ridge is thicker than that of a male gorilla so the probability that it's a female is very low." "It is a hominid," he declared. Stringer said such questions in the world of paleontology are always complex because evidence is usually incomplete and there is little agreement about what key features characterize a distinct human ancestor. "Everyone has a favorite model of or take on what would identify early members of the human line—it's a matter of interpretation," he said. "This creature could be our missing ancestor, it could be on the human line of evolution. But I don't think we can really say yet that it's a human relative, or even whether it's male or female," he said. "We simply don't have the signposts to know what the ancestors of gorillas and chimps and humans looked like."
quote:Brunet believes Sahelanthropus was bipedal at least part of the time.