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Cryptic Megafauna

What Branch Of The Family Tree Does Patty Belong?

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Cryptic Megafauna

My answer is: Australopithecus (Paranthropus) boisei

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For those not up to speed on hominins P. boisei also known as the “Nutcracker Man†lived between 2.3 and 1.2 million years ago in east Africa. Although bipedal like us humans P. boisei would have looked more like extant African apes than modern humans but is never-the-less significant in our understanding of where we came from. P. boisei is most famous for its large chewing muscles attached to a gorilla-like sagittal crest and heavy enameled cheek teeth set in a strong jaw. These specializations allowed “nutcracker man†to live up to its name and feed on fruits, seeds, and you guessed it…nuts. While P. boisei does not represent a direct human ancestor it does represent a curious evolutionary off-shoot on the road leading to humans. The Paranthropus genus evolved along its own path and lived simultaneously with members of our own genus, Homo. (from http://dinotoyblog.com/2015/12/23/australopithecus-paranthropus-boisei-by-kaiyodo-dinotales-series-2/)

 

Notice the face:

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and furthermore:

"Although Paranthropus was related to the more famous and ancient Australopithecus, (initially some scientists thought that it was even another species of Australopithecus), it wasn't a direct ancestor to the modern humans, but only their more distant cousin. This is shown primarily by their teeth, jaws and skulls: the brain cavity was quite small, but the sagittal crest on the skull was quite large, showing that the head and jaw muscles of Paranthropus had also been quite large and also their jaws were shaped more closely like the plant-eating modern gorilla than the carnivorous, or and omnivorous members of the Homo genus.
However, just like Australopithecus, Paranthropus females traveled from one family group to another, in order to prevent inbreeding, as shown on the WWC. It had a bite 4 times that of a human as evidenced by the sagittal crest." (from http://walkingwith.wikia.com/wiki/Paranthropus_boisei)

 

 

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Cryptic Megafauna

To wrap your head around early hominids, Australopithecine morphology and how that relates to Bigfoot, early migrations dates, etc. perhaps some pictures are worth a thousand words. To that end here are some interesting graphics for your edification.

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norseman

How do you propose Lucy and others like her got so big?

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guyzonthropus

Perhaps progressively improving diet/protein intake coupled with advancing cognition in a positive feedback sort of thing that developed along the lines of taking advantage of the "new upright" model and what it offers to circumvent prior selective factors.

Surely the bipedal posture gave advantage against both predators and conspecifics with the additional height, which also facilitates the wielding of weapons and tools from an elevated position.

But selective factors favoring greater and greater size may not have been entirely external, as perhaps all the Lucies back then were attracted to the taller/larger males, thereby passing on their "larger" genetics. But this is conjecture, for without knowing their social structures we can only guess as to reproductive patterns within a given group.

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Cryptic Megafauna

How do you propose Lucy and others like her got so big?

Gigantism is an adaptation to plant toxins and was a response of many animals historically and in the new world.

The evolution in size may have happened in Africa, just not in a fossil bearing area.

 

A larger body can process the plant toxins better.

You see it a lot of the extinct megafauna from North America and in larger animals.

Forests must have more plant toxins than food plants in the savannah.

Not a required adaptation, sometimes you get bigger to fill an ecological niche (big things are more threatening and stronger and can steal your lunch) 

 

Other adaptations are for more compact bodies such as Patty's big trunk to conserve heat in cold climates and in robustness, thicker bones and skull to strenuous nature of living in a primitive state with large loading stresses (running up mountains, breaking brush with arms, diggin up roots) in remote areas (you need a truck, not a car, bodywise)

Edited by Cryptic Megafauna

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guyzonthropus

Gigantism may arise due to a number of factors, from intraspecific demands(pre-courtship combats favoring larger individuals, larger females producing more young per reproductive cycle), to latitude/elevation, or habitat(insular reptiles often exhibit gigantism, while mammals tend more towards dwarfism) or in predators response to prey species getting bigger, as seen in the carnivorous dinosaurs evolving greater size as the sauropods maxed out...

Personally, I'd think the plains would have at least a lower diversity of plants, and plant toxins, than most forest ecosystems, especially in the tropics where biodiversity just goes crazy, with new species in every next valley over, the herbivore vs plant arms race in high gear, and a species/square acre count far above that of the grasslands.

Wasn't it in the grasslands and plains that much of the herbivorous megafauna evolved their tremendous size? Sure, the cave bears were in caves and all, but I always thought the majority were grazers...

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spurfoot

I wrote a formal scientific paper on bigfoot.  As you can guess, it was rejected.   In that paper, based on reading reports of very large numbers of other people, I concluded that bigfoot is human and that they are highly mutated by reason of a partial chromosome swapping.   That drastic mutation caused gigantism, skeletal distortions, including kyphosis (head and neck in a forward position), and porphyria.  The mutation is sufficient to call them a new species of man.   For my own purposes, I named bigfoot as "Homo mutuus", that means "changed man" .   The Latin spelling with uu is correct.

 

The porphyria results changes a youthful relatively light complexion to an adult dark accumulation of porphyrins.  Porphyrins are nominally "purple" in color but can actually be almost any color depending upon the details of the chemical structure.  I am not the least bit surprised about a unique report of a short stature creature  that actually had a patch of bright green on the face (and other colors).   Anyway, the purple pigment accumulation in the adult skin results in a superficially black complexion.  King George III had porphyria resulting in purple urine and mental disturbances.  In bigfoot,  it is not melanin if my inferences are correct.

 

Sorry folks, I don't drop by here often.  Have fun talking about this one.

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SWWASAS

Interesting conversation.        If you look at the bear species in North America the further North you go, the bigger the bear.     The Alaskan Brown and Polar bear being the largest.    Perhaps during the last ice age or one of the ice ages, some proto bigfoot started moving North out of SE Asia and adapted to cold by getting larger.   Along with that a change from mostly plant based to animal protein supplemented  diet could have occurred because as you go North the edible  plant life gets far sparser than the jungles of SE Asia.     Just that would have triggered generation to generation growth in size as has happened to humans as nutrition improved.     At one point the homeo sapiens average height was 5" 3".   I think that was back in the 1500's.   Now it is not uncommon to see a woman over 6 feet tall.      Why did that proto bigfoot move North?    To get away from the humans in SE Asia.    Perhaps that need to avoid pesky humans was enough to move North, then cross the Bering land bridge and settle in the coastal areas of the Pacific Northwest.     Sadly for them the humans followed forcing them into the interior forests.     That avoidance of humans is so deep seated in bigfoot custom that it has to have deep and serious origins.     

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Cryptic Megafauna

Two words:

Plant toxins.

A word to the wise is sufficient.

However, now there are two words.

I wonder if I should be confused or ironic?

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Cryptic Megafauna

Sagittal crest:

 

An interesting factoid regarding the family tree of great apes I just ran across.

If a hominid is of the estimated mass of a Patty, say 600-800 pounds all such species will develop a sagital crest.

 

This is relevant because the crest would not restrict the species or genus classification.

 

Then what becomes relevant in comparing to known fossil types are limb proportions and skull proportions.

 

Throw in gigantism, which obviously must have occured (prima facie evidence) and you have a candidate that could either be early Homo or late Australopithecine.

 

What would be interesting is where the gigantism first occured, Rift Valley, Russia, Java, Indonesia, etc.

 

I think just looking for skeletons that were achieving larger proportions could indicate where the adaptation was beginning to occur.

 

 

Edited by Cryptic Megafauna

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DWA

I giggled when I first saw Paranthropus speculated as a sasquatch ancestor.  To myself; I've never giggled aloud in my life.  Got that?

 

Anyway.  I've since changed my mind, and think that based on Patty and eyewitness descriptions it might be a better bet than Giganto.

 

That fossils have only been found in Africa is irrelevant; the literature is ripe on reasons why.  (Read Richard Dawkins's The Ancestor's Tale for the wild dance that took place between Africa and Asia as higher-primate lines developed.  And those are just the fossils we've found; a recent estimate is that we have nothing for 95% of the primates that have existed.) 

 

It would be totally expected for the genus to evolve to greater sizes as it moved through Asia toward NA.

Edited by DWA

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Cryptic Megafauna

DWA, especially when moving to environments with lots of plant toxins.

One reason the Pleistocene had lots of giant animals.

One reason that most are gone and the few remaining giant mammals are going extinct is, ironically, another primate.

 

Giganto was extremely primitive and he would have needed to experience gigantism as well for similar reasons.

What did they ever find of him/her? a partial jaw and a tooth if I remember.

 

Part of my theme is that Homo Habilis was very similar to Boisei but with the new saggital crest info then you could expect a early Homo that had undergone gigantism would have a Sagittal crest.

 

One of the reasons Boisei was converged on is that it had a sagital crest and Habilis did not (at its historic size).

 

The limp proportions between Habilis and Boisei were very similar.

 

When I modeled it against Patty Habilis seemed to be a better (exact) match.

 

Just a simple overlay although I only spent a limited amount of time on the project and I guess it revealing but subject to counter argument. 

Edited by Cryptic Megafauna

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DWA

What has been found of Giganto would fit in a suitcase so I'm told, and all of it jaws and teeth (and I think there's only one jaw).

 

The jaw appears to lead some to think Giganto would have been bipedal.  There's much to make scientists glom onto Giganto as The Solution, most particularly the convenient location of the finds.  Another illustration of the danger of extrapolating from fossils to what people are experiencing now.  The more I think about it, the less Giganto seems to make sense. 

 

That I'm aware of no one has tried to extrapolate from fossil forms to Patty and estimate the time that might have required (which is how I would think the estimate happened that we can't account for 95% of the primates that have lived).  That would be instructive.  And it would be a SWAG at best, because evolution doesn't happen in a uniform way.  Mutations happen, and they grab hold...or they don't.

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MIB

I'm not on the bandwagon ... but I'm curious and I can sure "table-top" the thing.

 

Could you check the timeline of past glacial maximums / sea level minimums and see if, and when, there were land bridges existing at times where either candidate species could have crossed into N.A.?    I somewhat doubt they persist into modern enough times, competing directly with us / recent ancestors, to have survived in Asia or Africa but if a few had gotten to North America and our immediate ancestors did not so there was a period without direct competition, then we might have a whole new ballgame.

 

MIB

 

 

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DWA

Well, I'd put a significant bet on our not having found the sasquatch lineage in the fossil record yet as well.  Look how long it took us to find it for gorillas and chimps.

(For the lesser panda, the first fossil lineage find was in Tennessee.)

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