Monday, December 20, 2010

Which animal throws best? It's a mystery.

Which animal is biggest? Smallest? Fastest?

Good questions, and there are lots of answers. It's the sort of thing we talk about over breakfast. This morning, feeling clever, I asked my kids which animal throws best.

It's an important question.  A large animal that can throw a hefty object has a terrific attack and defense advantage against prey and predator alike. A social animal capable of throwing a hefty rock at 80 kph could, you know, rule the world.

There are very few animals that can throw well. It's quite a trick. To do it well an animal has to be bipedal, it needs really good binocular vision, and it has to be able to calculate trajectories.

Gorillas can throw things, but I don't think they compare to the naked ape.

Of course the kids didn't trust my answer. They wanted confirmation.

That's when I uncovered the mystery. The mystery of this search ...

"which animal throws best" - Google Search: "No results found for 'which animal throws best'."

No freakin' results?! Google is telling me nobody has asked this question with this phrasing on the net?!

That's not possible.

Is it?

2 comments:

chrismealy said...

You should ask Bill Calvin. I went to a lecture he gave about how humans developed their throwing skills.

http://williamcalvin.com/

John Gordon said...

I read his blog, but he's mostly into climate change now. Probably it's in his older books.

To be sure, I know anthropologists have long studied primate throwing, and its relationship to human evolution.

The mystery is why doesn't this question get asked by laypersons more often?

I assume it's because we all think we know the answer (humans of course), but it's funny we don't ask the question.

Throwing is so much a part of us we don't think how weird it really is.