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ET Body - Long Arms

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Question. Why are a primates arms long?

"HOMINOID STRUCTURE"

As the skeleton of a chimpanzee (1) and gibbon (2) to the right show, apes have short backs with wide, barrel-shaped chests and robust pelvic girdles. The length of spine between rib cage and pelvis is much shorter in apes than in monkeys. These features are related to the upright posture of their bodies. The development of a vertical posture in apes was accompanied by increased manual dexterity. Apes’ fore limbs are longer than their hind limbs (except for humans). Apes have extremely flexible shoulders, elbows and wrists. The two bones (ulna and radius) in the lower fore limb and the two bones (tibia and fibula) in lower hind limb of apes are separate and highly mobile. All apes lack tails as they are not needed for balancing.

http://www.nhc.ed.ac...493.504.508.505

so why will an alien have long arms, they don't walk on all 4's or swing thru tree's do they? All species are adapted to the environment they live in, if you need longer arms, then why? Why should an alien have developed long arms? There HAS to be a reason!! Id have thought aliens with long arms and skinny bodies might find it awkward using those arms, anatomy tends to be balanced

Other than that of course, I dont believe any of it anyway..

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Humans probably evolved over a long period of time, from ancestors that moved about the ground on all four limbs, making for comparatively short arms. A species with a more direct descent from an arboreal species might retain at least some of the arm length of such ancestors.

On a planet where an ancient climate-change-based conversion of forest to grasslands did not occur as it did on Earth, a more direct descent of bipeds from brachiators may have been the favored route of development.

Long arms could also be due to an adaptation other than brachiation, such as the usefulness of the ability to reach over long distances, in a particular environment. This could be a natural adaptation, or might even be the result of genetic engineering.

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I think the "aliens with long arms" phenomena is due to some kind of deep seated fear humans have for other apes.

They say that your arm span should be as wide as you are tall, but by that measure my own arms are almost 3 inches longer then they should be. I'm about 5 foot 8 inches and my arm spread is about 6 foot 2 inches. Am I part alien, I wonder. Maybe I'm better suited to space? More hightly advanced??

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I think the "aliens with long arms" phenomena is due to some kind of deep seated fear humans have for other apes.

They say that your arm span should be as wide as you are tall, but by that measure my own arms are almost 3 inches longer then they should be. I'm about 5 foot 8 inches and my arm spread is about 6 foot 2 inches. Am I part alien, I wonder. Maybe I'm better suited to space? More hightly advanced??

Or, since 1977, when Close Encounters first come out, we see toward the end, the aliens in the big mother-ship....there is one BIG alien with really long spindly arms...(and the typical grey appearance). no doubt this could influence some people too..

But I like to stick with anatomy being balanced, if you had extra long arms, you'd need extra big biceps/triceps and shoulders to work those arms, so they may not look so skinny in real life. Ha, if they existed in real life that is

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Arms, even long ones, would not need to be especially muscular if they belonged to a being who lived on a world with comparatively weak gravity.

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Arms, even long ones, would not need to be especially muscular if they belonged to a being who lived on a world with comparatively weak gravity.

well thats tru I guess, but that will also make it quite hard to use same arms in our gravity tho wouldnt it?

Anyway a thought occurred, I dont know what country your in, but in the UK we have these odd spiders...(and always in my bathroom for some reason).. that have very very long skinny legs, and a little tiny body in the middle. Cellar spiders is the name

Pholcusphalangioides.jpg

So yes I guess something can have extra long limbs without struggling to move too much.

Mind you cellar spiders dont move too quick either

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Posted (edited)

We have spiders very much like that, here in California. A common name for them is 'Daddy Long Legs'. Such spiders are opportunistic predators. Their strategy is to wait quietly in their webs for some insect to get caught in them. Speed is not of the essence. Spiders are very small and light, of course. The physical challenges are very different for much larger and heavier creatures. I was supposing that intelligent extraterrestrials would be somewhat comparable to mammals. I've seen reports to suggest that extraterrestrials might be able to control gravity. Perhaps they are able to move about easily, even on high gravity planets, by artificially lessening the pull of gravity.

Edited by bison

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Posted (edited)

We have spiders very much like that, here in California. A common name for them is 'Daddy Long Legs'. Such spiders are opportunistic predators. Their strategy is to wait quietly in their webs for some insect to get caught in them. Speed is not of the essence. Spiders are very small and light, of course. The physical challenges are very different for much larger and heavier creatures. I was supposing that intelligent extraterrestrials would be somewhat comparable to mammals. I've seen reports to suggest that extraterrestrials might be able to control gravity. Perhaps they are able to move about easily, even on high gravity planets, by artificially lessening the pull of gravity.

Ha, we have a 'Daddy Long legs' too - but the flying type! (No not flying spiders, I mean Crane flies)

http://www.guardian....-climate-change

Yeh but that name is just as good I guess. Funny enough I hate spiders, but the cellar spiders dont bother me, I think because they dont move too fast!

You know the older I get and the more I read, Im inclined, to a degree - on thinking that aliens, if they really exist and have starships/saucers whatever, would 'have' to be somewhat humanoid in design/shape. I mean you cant build much with lobster type claws can you? Youd 'need' to have something like hands and a thumb...

Convergent evolution!

The pill millipede and pill bug look almost identical, but the latter is actually a class of wood louse that has adapted similar defenses

220px-Armidillidium.vs.glomeris.jpg

http://en.wikipedia....rgent_evolution

edit for link

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Edited by seeder

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A good example of convergent evolution. There are many. An Ichthyosaur, a reptile; a shark, a fish; and a porpoise, a mammal, all look a good deal alike, in general way, due to similar environments and survival strategies.

An eye very like the human eye was evolved independently a number of times, due to its inherent advantages. The eye of an octopus is very similar to ours.

It may not be as unlikely as some biologists seem to think, that humanoid forms could evolve independently on other worlds, similar to our own. There would naturally be variations on the theme, in line with local environmental and developmental challenges, such as we have been discussing here. Relative limb length, relative proportions of other body parts, overall sturdiness or lightness of body as a whole, and so on.

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A good example of convergent evolution. There are many. An Ichthyosaur, a reptile; a shark, a fish; and a porpoise, a mammal, all look a good deal alike, in general way, due to similar environments and survival strategies.

An eye very like the human eye was evolved independently a number of times, due to its inherent advantages. The eye of an octopus is very similar to ours.

It may not be as unlikely as some biologists seem to think, that humanoid forms could evolve independently on other worlds, similar to our own. There would naturally be variations on the theme, in line with local environmental and developmental challenges, such as we have been discussing here. Relative limb length, relative proportions of other body parts, overall sturdiness or lightness of body as a whole, and so on.

Do you think it just may be, that humans/humanoid form are really the tip of evolution, the perfect design? I mean on earth we are, we are the top of the food chain, we can change the environment to suit us! What other animal can do that? How much better do we need to be to be perfect in design?

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A good example of convergent evolution. There are many. An Ichthyosaur, a reptile; a shark, a fish; and a porpoise, a mammal, all look a good deal alike, in general way, due to similar environments and survival strategies.

An eye very like the human eye was evolved independently a number of times, due to its inherent advantages. The eye of an octopus is very similar to ours.

It may not be as unlikely as some biologists seem to think, that humanoid forms could evolve independently on other worlds, similar to our own. There would naturally be variations on the theme, in line with local environmental and developmental challenges, such as we have been discussing here. Relative limb length, relative proportions of other body parts, overall sturdiness or lightness of body as a whole, and so on.

But for a species to attain intelligence, they must be at least capable of instigating an Industrial Revolution. Body shape plays a vital role in this. As such, it seems likely that the visual anthropomorphic ideal is highly possible.

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Posted (edited)

Hey psyche,

I have to echo that opinion as you know I agree with that point emphatically. The Hominid design seems to be pefectly suited to both arise in nature and allow a species to thrive technologically via the inherent biomechanical traits of the hominid design.

ETA: The dart point I found and use as my avitar is a great example of relatively early technology that only a Hominid could have produced. No other biological design that has occured on Earth could have physically knapped that dart point even if the intelligence to do so was present.

Edited by lost_shaman
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[media=]

[/media]

Start is abit weird/fake but later on there is good stuff.

The "start" was taken from the audio introduction of the old TV series "The Outer Limits".

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Posted (edited)

But for a species to attain intelligence, they must be at least capable of instigating an Industrial Revolution. Body shape plays a vital role in this. As such, it seems likely that the visual anthropomorphic ideal is highly possible.

I think that is highly based on our human bias. We have no knowledge at all of other civilized races, and thus have no idea how they might look.

An alien might have developed in water/oceans and look like a cephalopod (octopus, squid).

"But for a species to attain intelligence..."

I have said (in the Nature forum) a couple of times that there are several biologists who have put ravens between man and apes (concerning intelligence).

+++

EDIT:

Scientists have argued for decades over whether wild creatures, including birds, show genuine intelligence. Some still consider the human mind to be unique, with animals capable of only the simplest mental processes. But a new generation of scientists believe that creatures, including birds, can solve problems by insight and even learn by example, as human children do. Birds can even talk in a meaningful way.

Some birds show quite astonishing powers of recall. The Clarke's nutcracker, a type of North American crow, may have the animal world's keenest memory. It collects up to 30,000 pine seeds over 3 weeks in November, then carefully buries them for safe keeping across over an area of 200 square miles. Over the next 8 months, it succeeds in retrieving over 90% of them, even when they are covered in feet of snow.

On the Pacific island of New Caledonia, the crows demonstrate a tool-making, and tool using, capability comparable to Palaeolithic man's. Dr Gavin Hunt, a New Zealand biologist, spent 3 years observing the birds. He found that they used two different forms of hooked "tool" to pull grubs from deep within tree trunks.

Other birds and some primates have been seen to use objects to forage. But what is unusual here is that the crows also make their own tools. Using their beaks as scissors and snippers, they fashion hooks from twigs, and make barbed, serrated rakes or combs from stiff leathery leaves. And they don't throw the tools away after one use - they carry them from one foraging place to another.

http://flatrock.org.nz/topics/animals/masters_of_deceit.htm

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Edited by Abramelin

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I mean on earth we are, we are the top of the food chain, we can change the environment to suit us!

but i think we would need to go back to our old ways if we're smart enough.... yes, we have reached the top of the food chain, but what we are eating isn't food anymore, well, most part of it... it would seem that we are manipulating the environment to suit us, but is it really like that? from a genetic perspective we haven't even been able to incorporate the lifestyle changes, environmental factors, food, etc. which were introduced since the neolithic age, leave alone what we're conditioning our genetics to since the food processing era... biological evolution works much much slower than our current progress i'm afraid

How much better do we need to be to be perfect in design?

i think we need to find out whether we're getting smarter or not, technologically for sure, but how does the overall picture show? generally speaking on the average i think we're going downhill; jmo... will technology save us in the end? maybe social darwinism will paint a different landscape, idk... but how would natural selection work in that case i.e. forwarding the best genes that is? surely the rich will not have all of them? then the question comes around whether 'nature' is in control of our evolutionary destiny or is it just some random gamble... meh... i don't know about this, but have we found any mutations which lead to the industrial revolution? people are getting smaller and shorter, we are already having extra teeth, smaller jaws & the average woman will not be sufficiently sized to give birth to larger heads / brains in the future... meh, ok, enough with the rant... ^_^

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I think that is highly based on our human bias. We have no knowledge at all of other civilized races, and thus have no idea how they might look.

An alien might have developed in water/oceans and look like a cephalopod (octopus, squid).

.

very true, but could arms with only suckers, no fingers/thumbs, build a starship Abe?

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very true, but could arms with only suckers, no fingers/thumbs, build a starship Abe?

You think of a starship created by humans.

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You think of a starship created by humans.

Good point. But might you suggest how to manipulate and fabricate 'things'.... without the dexterity of fingers and thumbs?

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Posted (edited)

I think that is highly based on our human bias. We have no knowledge at all of other civilized races, and thus have no idea how they might look.

An alien might have developed in water/oceans and look like a cephalopod (octopus, squid).

"But for a species to attain intelligence..."

I have said (in the Nature forum) a couple of times that there are several biologists who have put ravens between man and apes (concerning intelligence).

+++

EDIT:

Scientists have argued for decades over whether wild creatures, including birds, show genuine intelligence. Some still consider the human mind to be unique, with animals capable of only the simplest mental processes. But a new generation of scientists believe that creatures, including birds, can solve problems by insight and even learn by example, as human children do. Birds can even talk in a meaningful way.

Some birds show quite astonishing powers of recall. The Clarke's nutcracker, a type of North American crow, may have the animal world's keenest memory. It collects up to 30,000 pine seeds over 3 weeks in November, then carefully buries them for safe keeping across over an area of 200 square miles. Over the next 8 months, it succeeds in retrieving over 90% of them, even when they are covered in feet of snow.

On the Pacific island of New Caledonia, the crows demonstrate a tool-making, and tool using, capability comparable to Palaeolithic man's. Dr Gavin Hunt, a New Zealand biologist, spent 3 years observing the birds. He found that they used two different forms of hooked "tool" to pull grubs from deep within tree trunks.

Other birds and some primates have been seen to use objects to forage. But what is unusual here is that the crows also make their own tools. Using their beaks as scissors and snippers, they fashion hooks from twigs, and make barbed, serrated rakes or combs from stiff leathery leaves. And they don't throw the tools away after one use - they carry them from one foraging place to another.

http://flatrock.org....s_of_deceit.htm

.

Nice info as id expect from you! :tu: But which animal rises to the top of the food chain? Sure I think animals/birds/even ants are smart... without a doubt! But who rose to be king of the castle? And in what anatomic form?

Edited by seeder

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Posted (edited)

Octopus opens a jar!!..... But hes not the king of the castle...(or She, sorry girls)

[media=]

[/media]

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Edited by seeder

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Nice info as id expect from you! :tu: But which animal rises to the top of the food chain? Sure I think animals/birds/even ants are smart... without a doubt! But who rose to be king of the castle? And in what anatomic form?

We rose to be king of the castle because dinosaurs were wiped out.

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Octopus opens a jar!!

[media=]

[/media]

Yes, and it shows they are very capable of manipulating things in the surroundings.

Here's another interesting video about them (and it says that scientists look at the octopus brain and nervous system as an example for their robots):

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I think that is highly based on our human bias. We have no knowledge at all of other civilized races, and thus have no idea how they might look.

An alien might have developed in water/oceans and look like a cephalopod (octopus, squid).

"But for a species to attain intelligence..."

I have said (in the Nature forum) a couple of times that there are several biologists who have put ravens between man and apes (concerning intelligence).

+++

EDIT:

Scientists have argued for decades over whether wild creatures, including birds, show genuine intelligence. Some still consider the human mind to be unique, with animals capable of only the simplest mental processes. But a new generation of scientists believe that creatures, including birds, can solve problems by insight and even learn by example, as human children do. Birds can even talk in a meaningful way.

Some birds show quite astonishing powers of recall. The Clarke's nutcracker, a type of North American crow, may have the animal world's keenest memory. It collects up to 30,000 pine seeds over 3 weeks in November, then carefully buries them for safe keeping across over an area of 200 square miles. Over the next 8 months, it succeeds in retrieving over 90% of them, even when they are covered in feet of snow.

On the Pacific island of New Caledonia, the crows demonstrate a tool-making, and tool using, capability comparable to Palaeolithic man's. Dr Gavin Hunt, a New Zealand biologist, spent 3 years observing the birds. He found that they used two different forms of hooked "tool" to pull grubs from deep within tree trunks.

Other birds and some primates have been seen to use objects to forage. But what is unusual here is that the crows also make their own tools. Using their beaks as scissors and snippers, they fashion hooks from twigs, and make barbed, serrated rakes or combs from stiff leathery leaves. And they don't throw the tools away after one use - they carry them from one foraging place to another.

http://flatrock.org.nz/topics/animals/masters_of_deceit.htm

.

You miss the point. A bird for example could never knap a dart point no matter how "smart" it is. A group of birds could never operate a mine and produce raw materials the way a group of Hominids can.

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The thing is, if saucers/star-ships are real, they are supposedly metallic, to get metal...you need to smelt ore.. which requires fire... but we don't have any species, while being smart in their own habitats, that can do that, do we?

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You miss the point. A bird for example could never knap a dart point no matter how "smart" it is. A group of birds could never operate a mine and produce raw materials the way a group of Hominids can.

The funny thing is that they actually can.

And all the rest you are saying is based on human bias.

You cannot extrapolate human intentions and goals, physiognomy and whatnot to what aliens might look like and how they might act and reason.

My example of birds and cephalopods is just to show that intelligence can arise in other beings than apes or hominids.

The thing is, if saucers/star-ships are real, they are supposedly metallic, to get metal...you need to smelt ore.. which requires fire... but we don't have any species, while being smart in their own habitats, that can do that, do we?

But are they made of metal?

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But are they made of metal?

hehe, the unanswerable question...

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