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?


Anonymous said...

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

JGF 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.