The Subterranean Ape Theory
Those of you familiar with the cutting edge of human evolutionary theory will recall that the Pliocene Pussy Cat Theory (PPCT) provides an explanation of how australopithecines used their pet cats for subsistence, defense and shelter; and how the loss of the use of cats caused the extinction of the australopithecines and forced the evolution of a new genus, Homo. Recently an even more revolutionary theory of hominid evolution has been proposed by myself and others, the Subterranean Ape Theory (SubApe) in which early human ancestors had an subterranean phase which accounts for many of the unique physical characteristics of hominids. These two theories are in no way in conflict with each other. In fact they dovetail together quite nicely.
One often overlooked but key behavioral diffidence between domestic cats and wild cats is that domestic cats (at least when they’re in good mood) walk with tail held straight up. Adult wild cats always walk with their tail held horizontally. This seemingly inconsequential behavioral diffidence is the key to how the SubApes utilized cats. Cats are famed for their ability to see in near total darkness. The SubApes used their cats to find their way about their underground tunnels by holding on to the cats upraised tail, just like a modern blind person using a seeing eye dog.
As I am not one to make unsubstantiated claims, I put this theory to experimental test. One night my research assistant and myself stationed ourselves at one end of my surrogate cave. I grasped the tip of my assistant’s tail, turned out the light and closed my eyes. After I spoke the magic word “TUNA” she was able to unerringly lead me from the bedroom through the living room to the kitchen, a distance of approximately ten meters, with only a brief pause at the scratching post on the way. I had to bend over quite a bit in order to maintain a loose contact with my assistants tail, however the much shorter australopithecine’s would have been able to walk upright while keeping a hand on the guide “leash”. I attempted to repeat the experiment, however once my assistant discovered that I didn’t really have any tuna, she declined to participate in any further tests.
Even on the basis of one trial, it is significant that a modern pussy cat, without any training as a seeing eye guide, could perform so well. This shows that this behavior must be instinctive, the result of two million plus years of co-habitation with australopithecine’s, and likely even earlier hominids, right back to the last common ancestor with chimpanzees.
I propose that it was cats that provoked the last common ancestor (LCA) to branch into two lineages. That portion of the LCA species that learned to utilize cats quickly evolved into the Ardipithecus/Australopithecus lineage. Those of the LCA species that failed to adopt cats remained relatively unchanged and became the Pan lineage.
Not only does the fossil evidence support SubApe far better then other theories such as the Hypothesis of an Aquatic Human Ancestor (HAHA), we can see more instinctive behaviors in children that supports the Subterranean Ape Theory. While a young child may like to wade in shallow water, drop it into deep water and it will scream in terror. Drop a child into soft dirt and it will happily dig a hole. Folk tales of troglodyte gnomes, dwarves, elfs and other underground dwelling hominids are common in all cultures and no doubt form a kind of ancestral memory of the time we all lived underground. The SubApe theory provides a more reasonable scenario for bipedalism. Think of a semi-bipedal ape like a bonobo forced to walk with its front limbs out reached, feeling the way in the dark. Any individual unable to do so would bang its head repeatedly and be selected against. There is a lot of evidence supporting the Subterranean Ape Theory and really no evidence that disproves it.
I am sure that every one will give this theory the respect and consideration that it is due.
Lorenzo L. Love