The Aquatic Ape Theory
Aquatic Ape Theory is mostly the work of just two people
- I have nothing new to add, except for a possible connection with global cataclysms)
Consensus amongst scientists (known
as the Savannah Theory) has it that the following sequence occurred:
- When human predecessors in the African jungles became overpopulated,
some of them were forced to live on the open plain or savannah.
Having to hunt game for food, they learnt to stand on their hind legs to see their
prey more easily
- Because it was so hot out there,
they shed their hair to enable sweat to flow freely
Speech and intelligence grew from the need to communicate and hunt in packs
humans evolved. On the surface it makes a lot of sense, and we can be forgiven
for not questioning any aspects of this theory. We know from images in encyclopedias
and popular culture that primitive men hunted animals for food and skin, and that
they lived in caves. They were hairy brutish thugs and a perfect intermediary
between the chimpanzees and humans of today.
is just a small portion of my online book, Survive 2012 - a look into possible
ways our world might end, and how to survive. Available in bookstores sometime
before 2012, fingers-crossed...|
the Savannah Theory is riddled with conundrums, such as:
such as baboons and vervet monkeys live on the savannah - they have not become
bipedal, nor have they lost hair
- The many thousands
of years it took to evolve from being able to move quickly on four legs, to beings
able to run on two legs, would have left the prototype humans extremely vulnerable
Mammals are not designed to walk
vertically, because it is grossly inefficient. If the first apes attempted it,
they would have been like year old babies: falling over all the time. Furthermore,
the missing link would have lacked the locking mechanism of the knees
that we have today. Imagine trying to stand with your knees bent for a few hours.
Without a high priority reason to do so, the human predecessors would have simply
given up. Evolution does not have an agenda. Animals cannot see into the future
and aspire to being human, they can only respond to need. To gain a better view
over the tall grass, a more obvious change, seeing as our ape relatives are good
at jumping, would have been to jump higher.
spine is designed like a clothes rack - things hang from it. It consists of a
long, slightly arched rod supported by two sets of legs. The animals body
weight is evenly distributed and the centre of gravity is low, making for a well-balanced
individual. Using four legs has been shown, by the evolution of all the other
species, to be best way of getting about. In rare cases like kangaroos and ostriches,
you can see how evenly their weight is distributed. No other animal walks perpendicular
like humans - it isnt an efficient way of doing things. If you need more
convincing, simply consider the terrible back problems the majority of us will
suffer during our life time due to our ridiculous posture.
is, however, one primate species that regularly walks on its hind legs, the proboscis
monkeys of Borneo. They live in mangrove swamps and regularly drop down into the
water below them. They are excellent swimmers, but if they are able to touch the
bottom they elect to walk, just like humans. With the support of water around
them, the instability and discomfort of terrestrial bipedalism disappears. With
their heads held up high they are able to breathe easier than when swimming.
plot thickens when we delve into he geological and climatic history of North East
Africa, where the fossils of Lucy and other famous human ancestors
have been dug up. Lucys scientific title is Australopithecus afarensis,
because she was found in the region of Ethiopia known as Afar. From seven million
to 70,000 years ago this area was an inland sea, sea water that flooded in and
then got trapped, separated from the ocean proper. This is typical of the environment
we would expect an Aquatic Ape to evolve in. Today it has all dried up, leaving
a virtually impassable desert, with salt deposits thousands of feet deep.
key problem cited by orthodox scientists, the lack of fossil evidence for the
Aquatic Ape Theory, is ridiculous. None of the aquatic characteristics listed
here can be deduced from fossils. So theoretically any ancient hominids may have
had these features, we just cant tell. For the same reason, scientists might
guess at the skin or hair colour of fossils, but they cannot know.
out that most African hominid fossils have been found in or near bodies of water.
This is explained as they were passing by, and stopped for a drink
or heavy rains made the river overflow and they drowned. The obvious
explanation, that they lived in and beside the water (as most humans still do),
is rarely considered.
There is considerable evidence
to show that regions of Africa once had the same characteristics as the mangrove
swamps of Borneo.
A press release from the University
of Toronto, August 1999, states:
first humans may have been beach-dwellers foraging for shellfish, not grassland
.evidence that the large brains of the earliest humans
could only have evolved on the nutrient-rich diet provided by shellfish and other
animal life found near shorelines. "You don't need a big brain to collect
mussels and clams. But living on them gives you the excess energy and nutrients
that can then be directed towards brain growth."
popular image of the earliest humans living on the African savanna must be wrong,
[Stephen] Cunnane says. His team has found that a specific fatty acid, DHA, necessary
for human brain and eye development, is easily available in food near shore environments
but not in the diet of savanna mammals. This suggests humans evolved near water
before spreading inland, he says.
to see early humans as hunters who took advantage of nature and grew a big brain
in the process," he says. "But how could that hunting ability miraculously
appear overnight? Well, it didn't. Instead, they evolved in a place where they
didn't have to hunt."
Cunnane believes recent
hominid finds in South Africa that show proto-human fossils in close association
with the remains of aquatic creatures are more evidence for the theory, which
he hopes to further test next year by isotopic analysis of early human fossils.
Sweaty and Hairless
Charles Darwin once wrote:
The loss of hair is an inconvenience and probably an
injury to man , for he is thus exposed to the scorching of the sun and to sudden
chills, especially due to wet weather. No one supposes that the nakedness of the
skin is any direct advantage to man; his body therefore cannot have divested of
hair through natural selection."
Savannah Theory fails in this regard. These areas of Africa can cool to 11ºC
at night, and it would not be an advantage for humans to sleep there even on a
dry night. It is normal for terrestrial animals to have fur or thick hair. Humans
still have the capillary muscles which enable our hair to stand on end. If our
hair were longer it would then trap a layer of air close to the body, creating
a thermal blanket of sorts. Feathers work the same way. Most animals have the
ability to adjust their exterior in accordance with changing air temperature,
whereas us poor humans have to resort to clothing. Hair or fur is also very useful
for protection against injury, something very important in the wild. Obviously
we lost our hair, not because hairlessness was an advantage, but because at one
time our habitat was such that having hair was a distinct disadvantage.
easiest way to determine why humans are hairless is to study other mammals that
have evolved into a similar situation. Charles Darwin commented thus:
Whales and porpoises, dugongs and the hippopotamus are
naked, and this may be advantageous to them for gliding through the water; nor
would it be injurious to them from the loss of warmth, as the species which inhabit
the colder regions are protected by a thick layer of blubber.
are virtually hairless and are capable of swimming many miles, their trunks perfectly
suited to use as a snorkel. The tapir of Asia, Central and South America is like
a mini elephant, with a small proboscis nose. Its hair is very sparse and
it loves to swim and dive. Pigs such as the babirusa are yet another mammalian
species which have evolved to suit living in the water - losing hair and gaining
blubber. (Mammals living in subterranean circumstances have also lost hair, and
usually sight as well - this angle is best put aside for whoever invents The Mole
Pigs and hippopotami readily come to
the minds of children when searching for animal personifications to bait their
obese acquaintances with.
Compared to all the
other primates, humans definitely deserve the fatty tag. A gorilla
or chimpanzee kept in a cage might put on a fraction of extra weight, as might
an old horse that cant run about as much as it use to. But the only land
mammals capable of doubling or trebling their natural weight, to have rolls of
fat hanging from arms, legs, hips and bellies, to be unable to walk without breaking
into a sweat, are humans.
This fattiness is normal.
If a womans body is underweight it chooses not to conceive. A typical 16-year-old
girl should have 27% of her body weight in fatty tissue. If it were to drop below
22%, her menstruation cycle will cease. The reason that we need to stitch up serious
flesh wounds is because the layer of fat just below our skin tries to ooze out.
The edges of the cut become separated and are unable to rejoin and heal - other
mammals dont have this problem, their skin sits on top of muscle, not fat.
The concept of sweating as a cooling device is ridiculous.
This system, which is unique to humans (other mammals that sweat do it less profusely
than us, and use a different type of gland) is flawed. It is prone to activating
at the wrong time (in humid weather), is too slow to start and stop, provides
far more than the thin layer of moisture required for cooling, and wastes salt.
We are the only mammal that expels salt when we sweat. Even when a human is nearing
total dehydration it will continue sweating in hot weather and even die. Our sweating
system is yet another disadvantage of being human.
why do we sweat? One possible reason is to expel salt. If and when they first
took to the sea, our ancestors would have been eating seafood (which by definition
is salty) and accidentally swallowing salt water. The overload on our kidneys
would have created a need for a secondary system to evolve. Seabirds have special
glands for removing salt from their body.
cry, the function of which that has long baffled evolutionary scientists. It is
also for the purpose of expelling salt. You may have noticed that if you cry too
long, the saltiness will sting your eyes. Why this action is nowadays connected
to our emotions is unknown. Have you heard of crocodile tears? Well it is true,
crocodiles also cry as a means of expelling salt from their system (of course
this is not case with freshwater crocs). Walruses cry. Elephants cry. Non-human
primates do not cry. Although we obviously look like monkeys, in some ways we
have close connections to water-loving mammals. Pigs love to wallow,
and we use pigs as organ donors. Elephants are, when you think about it, smooth-skinned,
swimming, crying, intelligent, overweight social animals - just like us. It appears
that they evolved in the ocean as well, but chose to come back on land rather
than becoming whales. Humans made a similar decision, whereas dolphins chose the
Swimming & Diving
and Divers require a large opening to enable the rapid inhalation and exhalation
of air - and our mouths are large compared to the small opening of our nose and
the noses of most other mammals. They also need to be able to close their air
passages, making it harder for them to accidentally swallow water.
"Several unrelated aquatic species have evolved some kind
of movable flap either instead of, or in addition to, valvular nostrils. The penguin
has one, and the crocodile has one. Alone among the primates, humans have such
a flap - that is, the back of the soft palate, known as the velum, which in our
species can be raised and lowered to isolate the nasal passages from the mouth
cavity. It could not opeate in this fashion if the larynx had not retreated out
of its way to its present position below the back of the tongue.
only other mammals which are known to feature a descended larynx are diving mammmals
- the sea lion and the dugong. These two species are about as unrelated to one
another as they are to humans. The descended larynx must have evolved independently
in each of them, after their respective land-dwelling ancestors entered an aquatic
we were aquatic mammals, our descended larynx helped us with communication - as
we began to speak we were capable of a wider range of sounds. The primary reason
why apes such as the chimpanzee can not "speak" is not because of the
limited range of sounds available to them - they can say "ah", "ee",
"oo", and pronounce the letters k, p, h and m. These few sounds are
ample to create a large number of words. They have proven to be capable of excellent
communication using sign language, and they also understand verbal instructions,
but they lack the capacity speak as we do. The reason is not intelligence, it
is to do with breathing. Like most mammals, the breathing function in chimpanzees
is not voluntary, it is as automatic as the heart. To some extent it is also involuntary
in humans, like when we sneeze, hiccup or get a sudden fright. But the rest of
the time we get to choose how we breathe - this is directly attributed to our
aquatic past, when we had to hold our breath to dive below the surface.
control of breath is a characteristic that we share with all other diving mammals,
and something that no other non-aquatic mammals have.
large comparative size of the penis in adult male humans (man 13cm vs gorilla
3cm) is not related to the frequency of deployment. It is a necessary consequence
of the retraction and relative inaccessability of the vagina.
An aquatic environment seems to have had a broadly similar
effect on some other species - that is, relative retraction of the femal sex organ
leading to a corresponding extension of that of the males. For example, most birds
and reptiles do not possess a penis; the pressing together of the cloacal apertures
seems to suffice for the transference of the sperm. But many species of aquatic
reptiles (crocodiles and turtles) and aquatic birds (swans, ducks, geese) have
found it necessary to evolve a penis as part of their adaption to a watery habitat.
In mammals, oestrous status is communicated
by scent signalling - a pheromonal message emitted by the female. Being airborne,
it may be carried quite a long way - as evidenced by the distance a dog will travel
to locate a bitch on heat. But in a wading or swimming ape the pheromones would
be washed away almost as soon as they were scented.
in humans the ability to receive and interpret scent signals is very low. The
olfactory lobe in our brains is proportionately smaller than in the brains of
apes. (This is a common feature in aquatic mammals. In whales and seals the olfactory
lobe has diminished almost to vanishing point.) So one reason for the ending of
the oestrus could be that it ceased to work properly. As a result of the pheronomal
secretions being washed away, plus diminished scent perception, the signal was
simply not getting across.
As humans we have a common sexual position
that is quite different to that of other land-based mammals front to front.
The usual explanation is that we wish to kiss...
copulation, very rare in land mammals, is the commonest mode in aquatic mammals
except for those that go ashore to breed. Whales and dolphins, dugongs and manatees,
beavers, and sea otters are among the numerous aquatic species which mate face
to face. Swimming promotes this method of copulation in the same way that bipedalism
does, because in both cases the spine and the hind limbs are realigned, forming
a continuous straight line instead of the 90-degree angle found in most quadrapreds.
have only touched upon the topic. For far, far more evidence you need to read
the works of Elaine Morgan, especially The Aquatic Ape Theory. Anyone of average
intelligence and an open mind should find her theory to be credible.
Aquatic Apes & 2012
For humans to evolve from
apes in the manner described above, one of the following needed to occur:
1) A localized flood, and all humans descended from
a small group
2) A global flood
a cataclysmic flood scenario, the usual habitats of most land-based mammals would
end up underwater, and large populations would drown. Survivors would be extra
hungry and more likely to attack each other. Humans may have retreated to water
for the sake of safety. Because their numbers were greatly reduced, and (I believe),
subjected to large doses of radiation, we have an ideal situation for rapid evolution.
Where in the timeline of human development this occurred, and whether it was during
the last cataclysm or one prior, I cannot say.
thoughts are as follows:
acquired intelligence and bipedalism whereas other primates did not
The aquatic scenario provides support for bipedalism and brain food
There is evidence of global cataclyms in the past, and myths of great floods
A forced change of habitat combined with increased radiation creates an ideal
situation for rapid evolution
2012 at our forumGive the author your thoughts, and discuss any 2012
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Comments from Visitors
OK I accept your hypothesis may be correct but for your theory to convince me fully it would require rapid change in evolution. There has been no magical missing link found but IF it ever is it will be very interesting to see what mankinds evolution truly is.
This theory does provide a credible piece of the human puzzle. To bad the Truth has no proof. Good thinking!
Before you continue to state what is fact and what isn't, you should check the facts first. Throughout this page the facts have been twisted to support your theory. I can't go into all of the errors, as that would take forever, however you first start off by stating that we evolved from apes. WRONG- we did not evolve from apes or chimpanzees or any other primate currently living. However we (humans and current day primates) do have a common ancestor. At some point in evolution we continued down one path while the others continued down another. That is why there are chimps still around, not because they all didn't evolve.
- As far as for sweating, it is in fact a great, efficient way to cool the body. The cooling doesn't occur from the sweat only covering the skin Cooling comes from the evaporation of the water (or sweat) on our skin.
- Why don't you test your salt excreting theory out on yourself. Drink only saltwater for the next 24 hours and see what happens.... hint you won't be excreting all that salt in your sweat and tears. On second thought don't try it, because you will die.... we aren't designed or have any remenant of a design to allow us to continuously ingest salt water. There is some salt in our tears and sweat, as well as in our spit, semen, blood, urine, breastmilk, etc. ALL our body fluids have salt in them at a specific concentration. In order to maintain that concentration, your body adjusts the fluid intake/output.
Your arguments about why all ape fossils are found near water and other scientific facts (why we walk in only 2 feet and others) are deturped. Your explanation of the 'savannah theory' is wrong: you probably misunderstood it when you read it. You may fool people who want to be fooled, but anyone which studies a little of Evolution in highschool will know you are wrong (oh I forgot, Darwin's evolution theory hasn't got to USA yet...)
- Don't waste your time in desinformating people, you are only making us go backwards.
- And you even misunderstood what's expected to happen in 2012, you can't even be a credited new ager... geeez.
- Go do yourself a bit of Reiki to see if your mind gets clear.
- I'm a Student of Biology in a University and I live in Europe.
I agree with Rita!
Rita, you unfortunate fool - what the hell is 'desinformating' i was 'a Biology student in Europe' and that means sweet f a anyway you pretentious 'desinformated' ignoramus....
That is definitely some good information to ponder, there. However, if something does happen in 2012, I don't think we, as humans would be able to evolve any further. When you have reached a point in your sentience that you theorize how your species came to be, evolution is no longer possible. We aren't primates anymore, and given our dependencies on technology, relying on nature to find some way to adapt won't happen. Perhaps if this global disaster leaves us to fend for ourselves the jungle maybe, but anything that wipes out ALL of our technological resources won't leave many of us alive. The few that would survive might evolve somewhat, but first they would have to de-evolve in a sense.
Certainly an interesting theory although probably as good (or bad) as any other ("orthodox" or not). The thing is, despite all arguments for or against this theory we have too few data to prove or disprove it.
- But, while my mind and intuition are certainly more inclined towards the "paranormal" than towards the "skeptical", in my case your theory has given rise to a certain idea.
- IF (and only IF) some or all of the postulates above are proofs for the aquatic origin of Mankind, then maybe it was not so much because of evolution: 1) The Bible says about creating Man in God's (the gods') resemblance. 2) A number of so-called "myths" and "legends", notably the one coming from the Dogon tribe in Mali, say about aquatic "gods", half human, half fish, living in water, coming out of water, returning to water. A very brave idea (and possibly to many people it couldn't be any crazier): could it be that we are an effect of genetic manipulations from "aquatic" "gods" such as the Nommo? OK, this is just an idea, perhaps it's rubbish but how would you check whether or not it is?
Dr. Art O'Malley:
I would suggest that those of a scientific bent and enquiring mind research the origins of the dogon tribe of Timbucktu and Mali. They spoke of astronomical knowledge gained from the nommo. The nommo communicated with them in relation to the Sirius A B and C constellation. Astronomical science has confirmed what they knew before the advent of telescopes. The nommo
- are indeed of aquatic origin and drawings suggest to me elongated upper body with gill like apertures. Just to add to Robert's cataclysmic theory, regularly the earth has collided with other planets or asteroids. This leads to super volcanoes eg yellowstone national park Tsunami or global floods and polar shifts. Any impact of a major mass would disrupt earths magnetic field and lead to massively increased exposure to radiation. This is perhaps what has caused our original 12 stranded DNA to become denatured to man's miniscule double helix. However as the twelth planet NIbriu approaches ( it will be at its nearest point in 2012 )the pull on earths gravitational field will recur. Of interest Sirius has given rise to a white dwarf star and with its implosion may be why the nommo left to travel to earth only 8.6 light years away.
Its nice to see someone "think" in what some educated people consider unconventional avenues of thought, then to totally accept the curiculum we have been force fed throughout our "education". In just a short period of the last forty years so many "facts" we were taught to be true, have now been proved to be erronious. Whats true today is false tommorrow. For all we NOW know, we still haven't scratched the surface! I give credit to anyone that is willing to question our human orgins, our existance, creation VS evolution and the destiny of the human race. Until someone builds a "time viewing" device, I don't think we'll ever be able to truely know our true orgins. But, I'm always willing to consider other's points of view. Your hypothesis is as good or better as to what we were taught in school. I do not quite understand how your theory applies to 2012, but there is much food for thought. Kudus to you and your upcoming book!
Art: Thanks for your thoughts. One comment - even if Niburu exists, it will never be close enough to Earth in our lifetimes to exert enough gravitational influence to affect anything in the slightest
Good to see your welcome ruminating on the "Aquatic Ape" idea...I am a long-time student of Anthropology, and definitely, there is a lot of bias in academic Anthropology against even looking at theories other than the current in-vogue "savannah" theory; although, it turns out that recent fossil finds appear to indicate that bipedalism did NOT evolve on the savannah at all, but in a forested, WATERED environment...! The AAT offers a truly interesting and logical explanation for the evolution of bipedalism: that of having to wade into bodies of water to forage for existing foods in a rich shoreline eco-niche. Macaques have been known to wade into water to harvest crabs, and have switched to an upright, bipedal position both to catch crabs, and to carry them on shore. Bonobos, a species of chimpanzee closely related to humans and currently living in the tropical forests of central Africa, the now newly credible habitat in which bipedalism evolved, have been seen bipedally wading into rivers to catch fish! In fact, I have a video tape showing this very interesting behavior. The alternative explanations & theories for bipedalism given in mainstream Anthropology texts and courses, are ludicrous by comparison with the above scenario. As bipedalism is the absolute signature characteristic defining hominid evolution, it requires cogent & credible explanation, and AAT [Aquatic Ape Theory] comes closest, it seems to me, to filling that bill!
It is interesting to think that all new born babies can swim and hold their breath when put in water. I also ponder about the humen foot and how the skin between our toes has grown into more of a pattle than a prehencile appendage as seen on mall other primates, even those who are capible of bipedal moovement.
- Although this article was very thought prevoking, I feel that lacked any solid connection to this whole 2012 thing. It dosn't take a catostrofick world event to push a mamal back into the sea after living on land for a billion some odd years
Okay for all of you AAT fans. Where are the fossils? What mammal in the water is capable of bipedalism? Perhaps bipedalism was necessary to survive in the savannahs and forest lands. Of course this is all conjecture but maybe the early primates had to chase their food source or run away from being a food source. Curious...
- I am a first year physical anthropology grad student.
dev, you'll find that fossils are very very rare (try asking an expert how many humanoid fossils of any variety have been found), and only show you bones and teeth. Fossils cannot prove or disprove the AAT. Regarding bipedalism - AAT is not saying that water causes it in sea mammals (there aren't any suitable candidates, think about it), but rather our time spent in the water helped us develop it, like the proboscis monkeys of Borneo
15 of 55 comments (part 3) [
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The comments section is now closed, but you can still email me, or even
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Script by Alex
 Few authors have contributed to this
idea, therefore most of this information has been gleaned from the excellent books
of Elaine Morgan, and she got her ideas from Sir Alistair Hardy
 Probably Origin of Species.
 Probably Origin of Species
 The Scars of Evolution: What our bodies
tell us about human origins, Elaine Morgan, Penguin 1990, p135-140
 The Scars of Evolution: What our bodies
tell us about human origins, Elaine Morgan, Penguin 1990, p146-147
 The Scars of Evolution: What our bodies
tell us about human origins, Elaine Morgan, Penguin 1990, p148-151
 The Scars of Evolution: What our bodies
tell us about human origins, Elaine Morgan, Penguin 1990, p148-151