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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Aug > Aug 1

Re: Binary/Convergent Evolution

From: Bob Shell <bob.nul>
Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2007 09:51:28 -0400
Archived: Wed, 01 Aug 2007 21:42:41 -0400
Subject: Re: Binary/Convergent Evolution

>From: Stuart Miller <stuart.4.nul>
>To: ufoupdates.nul
>Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2007 14:43:06 +0100
>Subject: Re: Binary/Convergent Evolution

>>The question is _why_ did our common ancestor diverge into
>>bipedal and non-bipedal forms? If the wide-open savannah confers
>>some advantage to bipedal animals, or conversely, selects
>>against quadrapeds, one might well wonder why we do not see
>>additional bipedal forms in that environment.

>After all that, it would appear that we don't know;


>Realistically, it can ony be to do with two things; food and/or
>staying alive.

Interesting but ill-informed article. Dr. Small seems not to
know about the Bonobo, formerly called Pygmy Chimpanzee, and now
recognized as a separate species. Bonobos walk erect much of the
time although they are far from graceful at it and the resort to
four legged locomotion when they are in a big hurry. They are
also much more like humans in their culture and have recently
been observed making spears and using them to hunt smaller
animals. We used to say that walking upright and tool use
separated us from the great apes...

So it is entirely possible that, as with Bonobos, our ancestors
took to upright walking first and evolved the adaptations to
make it more efficient later.

The main advantage of upright stance isn't so much to see over
tall grass (Bonobos live in forests), but to free the hands and
arms for other uses. We could never have been very efficient at
tool use if we hadn't pulled ourselves up from a four legged

To return for a moment to convergent evolution: Dinosaurs
already had the advantage of bipedal stance from day one.
Therapods (whose name means "beast footed") kept their
bipedalism, while some other lines descended to four legged
locomotion again as they evolved to be efficient plant eaters.

The problem early dinosaurs had was lack of stereoscopic vision
and brians that were too small to do much with their hands.
Evolution in hunters tends to favor larger brains and better 3D
vision, and dinosaurs were moving that way.

Something happened that ended the Cretaceous Period, and with it
most of the dinosaurs. As I've said before, we really don't know
what happened. Why did the delicate and vulnerable birds survive
while all of the pterosaurs (which were not dinosaurs) died? Why
did lizards, crocodiles, snakes, turtles, and many other
reptiles survive? Insects from the late Cretaceous look just
like their modern counterparts. Obviously they survived. Why?
And the pattern of extinctions in the oceans is just as
peculiar, with all of the marine lizards dying out, but marine
turtles doing just fine. The pattern of extinction just does not
make sense. That's where research ought to be directed.

If dinosauroids evolved and were highly intelligent and caused a
"nuclear winter" of extinction, would we know? Would their
survivors be very interested in another species that was going

Bob Shell

[Here ends further non-UFO-related discussion on this thread --ebk]

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