Re: Fossils in Greece Suggest Human Ancestors Evolved in Europe, Not Africa


alandarwinvanarsdale
 

Where clades first appear as fossils often does not suggest those clades evolved in or near that place. Especially with groups such as Hominids with wide spread fossil records. This is just repeating the same poor reasoning used to suggest Africa is supported as the "origin" of different "ancestral" groups to humans or different human groups. 


On Wed, Jun 29, 2022 at 2:09 AM fceska_gr via groups.io <f-ceska=odysseysailing.gr@groups.io> wrote:

G: “I just want to emphasise that the two toed sloth is not, by any stretch of the imagination, bipedal. It may be aquarboreal. It may be able to swim and dive, but it cannot, and never has been, able to walk on two legs.”

 

It seems the giant ground sloth was capable of bipedal locomotion. Like the majority of semi/aquatic animals it may have increased in size during a period it spent much of its time in water, before doing a U-turn and becoming a small arboreal again. It may also have been hairless, another sign of an aquatic interlude.

Bipedalism and quadrupedalism in Megatheriurn: an attempt at biomechanical reconstruction
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1502-3931.1996.tb01842.x

Giant Ground Sloths Used Bipedal Locomotion
https://markgelbart.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/giant-ground-sloths-used-bipedal-locomotion/#:~:text=Artists%20often%20depict%20giant%20ground,using%20just%20their%20hind%20legs

Megatherium, the hairless: appearance of the great Quaternary sloths (Mammalia;Xenarthra)

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/297846446_Megatherium_the_hairless_appearance_of_the_great_Quaternary_sloths_MammaliaXenarthra

 

We’ve already discussed how sloths are excellent swimmers:

 

Wikipedia: “Sloths are surprisingly strong swimmers and can reach speeds of 13.5 metres (44 ft) per minute.[34] They use their long arms to paddle through the water and can cross rivers and swim between islands.[35] Sloths can reduce their already slow metabolism even further and slow their heart rate to less than a third of normal, allowing them to hold their breath underwater for up to 40 minutes.[36]

 

Perhaps there is a common element between the vertebra of sloths, dolphins and Moroto. Maybe they were all swimmers!!

 

Francesca

 

 

From: AAT@groups.io <AAT@groups.io> On Behalf Of Marc Verhaegen
Sent: Tuesday, June 28, 2022 10:51 PM
To: Gareth Morgan <garethmorgan@...>; AAT@groups.io
Subject: Re: [AAT] Fossils in Greece Suggest Human Ancestors Evolved in Europe, Not Africa

 

 

Beautiful, thanks, Gareth.

The sloth vertebrae miss the processus spinosi: for the muscles that keep the torso upright?

 

The title is perhaps what misleading: early Miocene hominoids lived along the Tethys Ocean & later the Tethys=Mediterranean Sea.

The Mesopotamian Seaway Closure c 15 Ma split hominids (along the Med.Sea & later the Red Sea) & pongids (along the Indian ocean), i.e. between Europe (incl.Greece), Asia, Arabia & Africa.

 

________

 



------ Origineel bericht ------
Van: garethmorgan@...
Aan: AAT@groups.io
Verzonden: dinsdag 28 juni 2022 14:58
Onderwerp: Re: [AAT] Fossils in Greece Suggest Human Ancestors Evolved in Europe, Not Africa

Fair enough.

 

For completeness I'll just paste a couple of pictures to show what Filler was on about.

 

 

Filler concluded that, because the Lateral Transverse Processes (LTP) in Morotopithecus' lumbar vertebrae are located above the spinal cavity (well, not really), like they are in humans (and unlike the Macaque), that Morotopithecus must have been bipedal.

 

 

Here you can see that the lumbar vertebrae of the two toed sloth have exactly the same configuration, if not more so.

 

I just want to emphasise that the two toed sloth is not, by any stretch of the imagination, bipedal. It may be aquarboreal. It may be able to swim and dive, but it cannot, and never has been, able to walk on two legs.

 

In other words, Filler's ONLY evidence for 20 myo bipedal primates is NO EVIDENCE AT ALL.

 

G.

 


From: AAT@groups.io <AAT@groups.io> on behalf of fceska_gr via groups.io <f-ceska@...>
Sent: Tuesday, June 28, 2022 3:12 PM
To: AAT@groups.io <AAT@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [AAT] Fossils in Greece Suggest Human Ancestors Evolved in Europe, Not Africa

I’m not disagreeing that Moroto was an orthograde climber, going up and down big trees. But there had to be a resource that she needed to climb down to. All the evidence suggests it was a watery resource. Once there, she spent a lot of time wading on two legs, which I would call ‘postural bipedalism’.

Many comparisons with sloths, but sloths, too, are aquarboreal, very good swimmers, possibly descended from an even more aquatic ancestor (maybe why they got so big).

F.

From: AAT@groups.io <AAT@groups.io> On Behalf Of Gareth Morgan
Sent: Tuesday, June 28, 2022 2:43 PM
To: AAT@groups.io
Subject: Re: [AAT] Fossils in Greece Suggest Human Ancestors Evolved in Europe, Not Africa

We have Moroto’s thigh bones:

Let's have a look then.

massive canines

... like a sloth

a wide jaw cavity, suggesting it ate herbivorous vegetation

...like a sloth.

a wide, shallow trunk

...like a sloth.

shoulder blades were positioned on the back

...like a sloth.

lumbar vertebrae, steadily increasing in size further down the spine

... like a sloth.

suited to a predominantly upright body.

...like a sloth.

the thigh shaft was short...

This is disputed because we only have the top bit and the bottom bit.

... and exceptionally heavy

... like a sloth.

20 million years ago sloths had particularly sturdy thighs.

If Morotopithecus was a primate convergently evolving to adapt to an environment like that of a sloth, but with trees of a very large diameter as I suspect, then the trees must have been long-lived, hence the proximity to water.

G.


From: AAT@groups.io <AAT@groups.io> on behalf of fceska_gr via groups.io <f-ceska@...>
Sent: Tuesday, June 28, 2022 1:39 PM
To: AAT@groups.io <AAT@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [AAT] Fossils in Greece Suggest Human Ancestors Evolved in Europe, Not Africa

Until we find some Morotopithecus feet we don't have enough information to decide.”

We have Moroto’s thigh bones:

“Morotopithecus had a long face with a broad nose. It had protruding incisors, massive canines and a long row of large molars with thick molar glaze in a wide jaw cavity, suggesting it ate herbivorous vegetation. It had a wide, shallow trunk, and the shoulder blades were positioned on the back, rather than on the sides. It appears to have had six or seven lumbar vertebrae as in most monkeys and Proconsul, (humans and gibbons have five, while great apes have four), but the very low lumbar vertebrae, steadily increasing in size further down the spine, seemed better suited to a predominantly upright body.[i] [ii] [iii] According to Sanders & Bodenbender (1994), the morphological adaptations in Morotopithecus’ lumbar region may have been “adaptively driven by modifications in substrate use coincident with changes in resource acquisition”.[iv] In other words, Morotopithecus’ spinal modifications may have occurred as a result of frequent upright foraging in water (wading) for aquatic herbaceous vegetation. Another factor to consider is that, although the thigh bone head was primitive as in arboreal monkeys, the thigh shaft was short and exceptionally heavy.[v] Heavy bones are invariably found in aquatic and semi-aquatic mammals, e.g., sea otters, hippos, dugongs, manatees, and Pakicetus, a primeval, wading whale ancestor. This further supports that Morotopithecus likely foraged aquatically in swamp forests. The accompanying fauna from the time suggests that Morotopithecus lived in a shallow wetland full of sedges and rushes, which would have been especially flooded during the rainy seasons. According to Brigitte Senut, this environment would have been ideal for the apes to find the water and food they needed for their survival.[vi]

F.

From: AAT@groups.io <AAT@groups.io> On Behalf Of Gareth Morgan
Sent: Tuesday, June 28, 2022 1:24 PM
To: AAT@groups.io
Subject: Re: [AAT] Fossils in Greece Suggest Human Ancestors Evolved in Europe, Not Africa

Thanks Francesca.

Great article in the Guardian. The whole field is clearly wide open. (Worth a fiver each way on Lamarck....) Gonna save the article to shut people up who think it is all cut and dried.

"...a single aquatic phase in human ancestors that led to bipedalism and all the other aquatic features... This is basically the only area where I would disagree with her."

I agree. To me it is all the result of incremental changes coinciding with climate change, like the recurrent glacial droughts that repeatedly forced us into the sea every 100,000 years.

"Certain features, such as bipedalism, were acquired before."

I agree.

"Morotopithecus was, IMO, clearly the first known, orthograde, bipedally wading, aquarboreal ape."

Can't agree, because everything about the skeleton is perfectly consistent with a creature designed for climbing the vertical trunks of large trees. Sloths are not bipedal. Until we find some Morotopithecus feet we don't have enough information to decide.

I wonder if Filler would care to comment on the similarity between the morotopithecus vertebra and the dolphin's...

G.

From: AAT@groups.io <AAT@groups.io> on behalf of fceska_gr via groups.io <f-ceska@...>
Sent: Tuesday, June 28, 2022 12:17 PM
To: AAT@groups.io <AAT@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [AAT] Fossils in Greece Suggest Human Ancestors Evolved in Europe, Not Africa

Thank you for sharing this, Gareth.

It’s funny, because I just read an article this morning in the Guardian which seems to be discussing the same topic:

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2022/jun/28/do-we-need-a-new-theory-of-evolution

Elaine firmly believed that there was a single aquatic phase in human ancestors that led to bipedalism and all the other aquatic features we retain. She maintained that this provided answers to all the distinctions between humans and chimpanzees. This is basically the only area where I would disagree with her – not completely – but just enough to say that ‘most’ of our aquatic features stemmed from an extended aquatic period when the human clade was isolated from all other hominines, but not ‘all’. Certain features, such as bipedalism, were acquired before, and exist in all extant apes today as scars of their past.

Morotopithecus was, IMO, clearly the first known, orthograde, bipedally wading, aquarboreal ape. Elaine doesn’t rule it out, either. She writes:

“It’s an exciting story and I hate to throw cold water on it. I am certainly not competent to assess his expert analysis of the lumbar transfer process of Moroto. If it is proved that the last common ancestor did indeed walk upright, that would invalidate the simple story of a chimp/hominid split in which I had fondly believed, and would raise a lot of new questions. But it would be credible.”

There has been a lot more evidence in recent years to support arguments that all great apes stem from a bipedal, or at the very least, orthograde ancestor. Elaine ends with:

“In a passage on the discovery of the Moroto vertebra, he does make one passing comment on the environment. He says that the bones had been found in sedimentary rocks that had been formed “in the forest at water’s edge during the Miocene era.” “

To me, the wading hypothesis is proved, but not just in humans. We are the only apes to have retained a fully orthograde bipedal mode of locomotion. All the other apes, with their shorter legs and longer arms, found it more practical to drop to their knuckles when they emerged from the water and returned to the trees.

Francesca

From: AAT@groups.io <AAT@groups.io> On Behalf Of Gareth Morgan
Sent: Monday, June 27, 2022 3:15 PM
To: AAT@groups.io
Subject: Re: [AAT] Fossils in Greece Suggest Human Ancestors Evolved in Europe, Not Africa

Thanks Francesca. I'm sure there will be more evidence appearing in due course.

On a different topic, I've attached an unpublished article by Elaine about Aaron Filler. She seems to share my scepticism. "He regards that single lumbar vertebra that was put into his hand as proof that Morotopithecus was one of the earliest specimens of an instant overnight transformation."

I think I pointed out previously that Filler's bold contention that Morotopithecus was bipedal, based solely on the transverse processes of a single lumbar vertebra, becomes much less persuasive when we realise that sloths and dolphins have exactly the same vertebral structure and I'm pretty sure that dolphins aren't bipedal...

Anyway, a nice example of her later work. written in May, 2011.

G.


From: AAT@groups.io <AAT@groups.io> on behalf of fceska_gr via groups.io <f-ceska@...>
Sent: Monday, June 27, 2022 2:07 PM
To: AAT@groups.io <AAT@groups.io>
Subject: [AAT] Fossils in Greece Suggest Human Ancestors Evolved in Europe, Not Africa

 


[i] Young, Nathan & MacLatchy, Laura. (2004). The phylogenetic position of Morotopithecus. Journal of human evolution. 46. 163-84. 10.1016/j.jhevol.2003.11.002..

[ii] Crompton, R.H., Vereecke, E.E., Thorpe, S.K.S. Locomotion and posture from the common hominoid ancestor to fully modern hominins, with special reference to the last common panin/hominin ancestor. J. Anat. 2008, 212, 501-543.

[iii] Thorpe, S.K.S., McClymont, J.M., Crompton, R.H. The arboreal origins of human bipedalism. Antiquity 2014, 88, 906-926

[iv] William J. Sanders, Brian E. Bodenbender, Morphometric analysis of lumbar vertebra UMP 67-28: Implications for spinal function and phylogeny of the Miocene Moroto hominoid, Journal of Human Evolution, Volume 26, Issue 3, 1994, Pages 203-237, ISSN 0047-2484, https://doi.org/10.1006/jhev.1994.1012.

[v] MacLatchy L, Gebo D, Kityo R, Pilbeam D. Postcranial functional morphology of Morotopithecus bishopi, with implications for the evolution of modern ape locomotion. J Hum Evol. 2000 Aug;39(2):159-83. doi: 10.1006/jhev.2000.0407. PMID: 10968927.

[vi] Senut, Brigitte. “Morphology and environment in some fossil Hominoids and Pedetids (Mammalia).” Journal of anatomy vol. 228,4 (2016): 700-15. doi:10.1111/joa.12427

 

 

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