A Target, or a Shield?
3 hours ago
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Gorillas happen to be one of my favorite animals. The Gorilla is part of the great ape species and members of the Hominoidea order. Gorillas are found in the mountains and lowlands of southeast Asia, and in the mideastern part of the country Africa, on a mountain. Gorillas need tropical rainforests. They can also be on the side of mountains if they are covered in rainforest. At one point in time, they had a larger population and therefore occupied a larger area in Africa. However, Gorillas now only live in a more tropical area in the mountains of Africa. The reason this occurred was because more and more people (natives) started taking over more land for crops and possibly other "necessities".*
Gorillas are massive and silverbacks probably get up to 1000 lbs and 6 feet tall, while their female counterparts may account for half of their body size. They are terrestrial, quadrupeds. Gorillas exhibit sexual dimorphism, and have mandibles that extend past their maxillas, giving them a distinct look. They have sagittal crests and inconspicuous genitalia. They are very cute and lots of movies are made about them because they are very intelligent, but also very territorial. Gorillas are knuckle walkers and although they bang their fists against their chests they do not kidnap women and climb tall buildings.
Gorillas mostly sit on rocks and vegetate on fruits and leaves. Gorillas eat mainly leaves and a lot of them are not picky at all.
Gorillas have a social organization of alot of Gorillas but only one producing male. Gorillas live in monogamous pairs. Young males either challenge a silverback for his women, find women without a silverback, or steal young females and make their own group. The young stay and learn from their mother. They do not twin.
Previously, the earliest stone artefacts at Mata Menge, associated
with the fossilized remains of S. [Stegodon] florensis florensis, as well as the absence of artefacts from Tangi Talo with its pygmy S. sondaari and giant tortoise, suggested hominin colonization of Flores between,0.9 and 0.88 Myr ago3–6,10 (Fig. 5). On this basis, the faunal turnover that occurred in the Soa Basin at this time was attributed to the arrival of this new predator, although it may have been hastened by a major volcanic eruption that blanketed the area9,18,19. It is now clear, however, in light of the evidence from Wolo Sege, that hominins
were present on Flores by 1 Myr ago. This suggests that the nonselective, mass death of S. sondaari and giant tortoise, associated with stratigraphic evidence for a major volcanic eruption at Tangi Talo ,0.9 Myr ago10, could represent a localized or regional extinction, and that the faunal turnover may have been a result of climate change, volcanic activity or some other natural process or event (Fig. 5). (Brumm et al. 2010:3)
I discussed this with my graduate seminar yesterday. The long persistence of this toolmaking culture, in what must have been a rather small human population, is weighing on my mind. Were there recurrent contacts from Java, keeping the population going? How dependent were these people on their tools?
Hominin predators can lead to unstable dynamics -- most predators will undergo predator-prey cycles, but humans can switch to other resources and continue to press a small prey species to extinction. The long persistence of tasty animals on Flores in the presence of hominins suggests that the subsistence practices of these hominins were different in some ways from later humans.