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Disclaimer: If you are easily offended by sheer honesty, or you think me having my own opinions is "being negative", then this is not the place for you, and I suggest you leave and head elsewhere. I call a spade a spade, and I don't sugarcoat anything.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Gosh-darn It!!

My favorite program did not come on tonight. I usually watch Evolve on the History Channel and tonight it didn't come on. Although it was still listed in the on screen TV guide! Makes me so mad!!! I love that series!! It has taught me a little more about evolution, and even changed some of my views. You know why humans are the only animals that have buns? hehe! Not just for women to admire and drool over in men (or vice-versa, whichever your point of view) It helps us to walk upright. Makes sense cuz no other animal in the world has them like we do. I don't know about the dinosaurs. But our closest wild kin, orangs and chimps, don't have them at all. Gorillas sort of have them. Why I don't know, they don't really have the need to walk upright.



Few modern primates have to walk upright like we do. Apes can for short periods, but they typically walk on their feet and knuckles. Gibbons (or lesser apes) can also walk upright, holding their disproportionately long arms above their head, but since they spend almost no time on the ground in the wild, they almost never need to. Baboons too can walk and even run on their hind feet for short periods. Mostly to see over the tall grasses or to cross a river or stream. Aside from humans and gibbons, the only primates that regularly walk on their hind feet are a group of lemurs I called the Propithecines on my Metazoic website. It was actually their method of movement that led early Europeans to believe some of these lemurs were small, wild men of the jungle, as depicted in this pic from the 1600s:





That's called the cynocephalus, or dog-headed man. It's actually a depiction of a rather good-sized lemur known as the indri or babakoot. At first it was thought to be a depiction of a baboon, but baboons have tails, and do not walk on their hind feet for very long periods. The most likely subject for this pic is that of the babakoot, as they don't have tails, and do walk upright for long periods, giving the impression that it could be a person (to early Europeans), and the head does resemble that of a dog. Babakoots rarely come to ground levels, when they do, they stand upright and actually bounce from place to place, as their sister species, the sifakas, do.

Tonight's episode of Evolve was supposed to be about communication. Funny just last week, or so, I was talking about animal calls. I thought it was cool how I've heard some songs that seemed to use the sounds of animals as inspirations. Whether they really do or not it's still an interesting concept. Whales and primates are the only mammals that can truly sing in different pitches. Take the babakoot it's self. It gives off a series of hoots that can sound different from one call to the next. Their calling sessions are like those of tree-climbing wolves, and for the same reason--to lay claim to territory without the need for physical battles. I think humans picked up the ability to sing from our early primate ancestors because just about any primate can sing.
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