Hairy Ardi issue
In the report on Ardi (“Evolution’s bad girl,” SN: 01/16/10, p. 22), the artist’s illustrations show her in fur. The fact that her purported descendants are relatively hairless has been popularized by Desmond Morris (The Naked Ape, 1967) and Elaine Morgan (The Descent of Woman, 1972). What is the paleoanthropologists’ evidence that Ardi had not yet shed her fur coat and gained the advantage of superior heat loss in tireless pursuit of game?
Walter J. Freeman, Berkeley, Calif.
Hairiness made sense for an early hominid species that lived in forests, had infants that could hang on to mothers with grasping toes, and, despite walking upright, couldn’t go anywhere fast in tireless pursuit of anything, says anthropologist and Ardi researcher Owen Lovejoy of Kent State University in Ohio. Long-distance hunting did not emerge as a regular