Erika Lorraine Milam: The history of the aquatic ape may tell us more She insisted that the savannah hypothesis failed because it couldn't. The aquatic ape hypothesis (or a common misnomer: aquatic ape theory) is the proposal that wading, swimming and diving for food had a large  ‎History · ‎The hypothesis · ‎Objections to the hypothesis · ‎Modern aquatic primates. The “aquatic ape hypothesis” is one of these, now championed by Sir David Attenborough in his recent BBC Radio 4 series The Waterside Ape.


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Whatever Happened To... the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis?

On the advice of his colleagues, Hardy delayed presenting the hypothesis for approximately thirty years. Several national newspapers reported sensational presentations of Hardy's ideas, which he countered by explaining aquatic ape hypothesis more fully in an article in New Scientist on 17 March Some interest was received, notably from the geographer Carl Sauer whose views on the role of the seashore in human evolution [15] "stimulated tremendous progress in the study aquatic ape hypothesis coastal and aquatic adaptations" inside marine archaeology.

Another screenwriter, Elaine Morgan, responded to this focus in her Descent of Woman, which parodied the conventional picture of "the Tarzanlike figure of the prehominid who came down from the trees, saw a grassland teeming with aquatic ape hypothesis, picked up a weapon and became a Mighty Hunter," [20] and pictured a more peaceful scene of humans by the seashore.

She took her lead from a section in Morris's book which referred to the aquatic ape hypothesis of an Aquatic Ape period in evolution, his name for the speculation by the biologist Alister Hardy in When it aroused no reaction in the academic community, she dropped the feminist criticism and wrote a series of books—The Aquatic ApeThe Scars of EvolutionThe Descent of the Child and The Aquatic Ape Hypothesis —which explored aquatic ape hypothesis issues in more detail.

Whatever Happened To the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis? |

Popular science writer Robert Ardrey memorably epitomised aquatic ape hypothesis genre with his bestselling volumes African Genesis and Territorial Imperative. All triangulated their theories of humanity from insights derived from animal behaviour and paleoanthropology.

Morgan imagined a male reader aquatic ape hypothesis these volumes derived "no end of a kick out of thinking that all that power and passion and brutal virility is seething within him, just below the skin, only barely held in leash by the conscious control of his intellect".

Playfully appropriating her title from Charles Darwin's Descent of Man, she skewered these books as "Tarzanist" tales that failed to incorporate the perspective of women. Where, she wondered, were the stories that began, "When the first ancestor of the human race descended from the trees, she had not yet developed the mighty brain that was to distinguish her so sharply from all the other species … "?

Against the background of these men, reviewers dubbed Descent of Woman "women's aquatic ape hypothesis prehistory". The hypothesis suggests that everything from walking upright to our lack of hair, from holding our breath to eating shellfish could be because an aquatic phase in our ancestry.

Since the theory was first suggested more than 55 years ago, huge advances have been made in the study of human evolution and our story is much more interesting and complicated than suggested by the catch-all aquatic ape hypothesis.

Inmarine biologist Alister Hardy published an article in New Scientist, titled: Was man aquatic ape hypothesis aquatic in the past?

Wrangham and his colleagues acknowledge that their case rests on circumstantial evidence. And the evidence has alternative explanations.

Humans have aquatic ape hypothesis hair and perpetually enlarged mammary glands, and unlike other apes, we sweat a lot.

A New Aquatic Ape Theory

Humans have relatively more fat below the waist which serves as insulation when wading. The human larynx is not shaped aquatic ape hypothesis that of aquatic mammals, and descended larynxes are also seen as deer as well as other animals.

Speech was rather important in human development, oddly enough.


Appear to be sexually dimorphic highly active in adolescent human males, scent receptors highly active in adolescent human females. Dogs and cats do aquatic ape hypothesis as well. A third major problem is there are actual characteristics indicative of aquatic mammals which humans notably lack.

Sorry David Attenborough, We Didn't Evolve from "Aquatic Apes"--Here's Why - Scientific American

Aquatic ape hypothesis is under this qualification that the Aquatic Ape Theory appears very appealing. By positing a single assumption -- that as yet undiscovered hominids lived in a unique aquatic environment -- the theory is able to encompass the evolution of several different characteristics of the human body that otherwise would not appear to be tightly linked to each other.

In other words, the hypothesis appears to be simple as an explanation for many different characteristics, requiring only one assumption and its many associated effects instead of a separate evolutionary aquatic ape hypothesis for every characteristic. But this appeal ignores another fundamental characteristic of parsimony: Consider the proposed "aquatic phase" of human evolution, which the Aquatic Ape Theory posits to explain human characteristics that are uncommon in land mammals.

Aquatic ape hypothesis it makes sense that hominids would develop new anatomies to adapt to such an alien environment.