Barking up the wrong ape

John Grehan jgrehan at SCIENCEBUFF.ORG
Thu Dec 16 00:32:53 CST 2004


Take a look at any oranguan image on the web and you will see the supraorbital brow following the supraorbtial margin of the eye orbit. They project enough to give the appearance of a mound. At least that's how I interpret the use of that word.

There is no supraorbital torus in Australopithecus, orangutans, or their fossil relatives and only some Homo 'erectus'. The main advantage of a supraorbital torus is limited only by one's level of fantasy. It's not science. As for assertions such as the "supraorbital torus evolved to help absorb stresses.." this is pure unadultrated mysticism - the evolution of a structure for a purpose. From a religous perspective it might be true, but it's not science.


From: Taxacom Discussion List on behalf of Ken Kinman
Sent: Thu 12/16/2004 12:21 AM
Subject: Re: [TAXACOM] Barking up the wrong ape

Australopiths have supraorbital regions that are "mounded"!!??  I'm not at all sure what "mounded" would mean in this context, but sounds like it might be interesting if it could be more precisely described.

       By the way, I think that the old idea was discredited that a supraorbital torus evolved to help absorb stresses from heavy mastication.  But did anyone ever come up with another idea what the main advantage of a supraorbital torus might have been?
      ---- Ken

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