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Were early human ancestors ‘aquatic apes’ ?

Posted on Monday, 29 April, 2013 | Comment icon 65 comments | News tip by: Roiberto


Image credit: Robert Griner

 
The controversial theory that humans evolved from amphibious apes has been gaining new support.

The aquatic apes theory suggests that apes first emerged from the water, lost their fur, started walking upright and then went on to develop large brains. The idea was widely publicized over 50 years ago by marine biologist Alister Hardy and now enjoys support from several big names including naturalist Sir David Attenborough.

Of particular note with regard to the theory is the fact that humans are very different from other apes in that we possess attributes that are more common in aquatic mammals. Did these traits appear at different times as conventional theories suggest or was it because our ancestors lived in or near water for millions of years ?

"A controversial theory that humans evolved from amphibious apes has won new support."

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 Source: Complete Genomics


  Discuss: View comments (65)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #56 Posted by docyabut2 on 15 May, 2013, 23:00
We can tell by the expression of the genes responsible for the presence or lack of hair. And as posted earlier said genes date to c. 1.2 million years ago. And the 'earlier homo sapiens' only date to c.200,000 years ago, so well within the timeframe for the overall loss of body hair. All of which makes the 'aquatic ape theory' about as useless as a leg-less man at a butt kicking contest. cormac How can they judge the gene of hairlessness went dorment 1,2million years ago.? by other mammels, hommids or what?
Comment icon #57 Posted by EnderOTD on 15 May, 2013, 23:20
One of the faux educational channels did a mock-u-mentary about this, Mermaids!!! Most of the people i know that brought it up believed it was the honest to god truth because the saw it on T.V. I call it A.A. syndrome. Any ways who's to say we didn't lose our body hair(some of us did, not me lol), because we started makeshifting animal skins and furs to clothes our bodies as we slowly migrated to cooler climates? I didn't see that anywhere but just my couple cents.
Comment icon #58 Posted by cormac mac airt on 15 May, 2013, 23:21
How can they judge the gene of hairlessness went dorment 1,2million years ago.? by other mammels, hommids or what? They compare the expression and differences between the gene from looking at same within 1) humans versus chimpanzees; 2) Africans versus Europeans and 3) include a comparison of Hss (us) and Neanderthal genes. All together of which points to a timeframe of c.1.2 million years BP. cormac
Comment icon #59 Posted by docyabut2 on 16 May, 2013, 7:49
They compare the expression and differences between the gene from looking at same within 1) humans versus chimpanzees; 2) Africans versus Europeans and 3) include a comparison of Hss (us) and Neanderthal genes. All together of which points to a timeframe of c.1.2 million years BP. cormac Cormac gee maybe I don`t understand:),but how can they compare a hair growing gene that supposely went dorment in parts of our bodies to the chimpanzees and in the Neaderthals to 1,2million years ago when hair still grows. The Neaderthals were only about 40,000 years ago, how do we know they were as hairless a... [More]
Comment icon #60 Posted by cormac mac airt on 16 May, 2013, 12:56
Cormac gee maybe I don`t understand:),but how can they compare a hair growing gene that supposely went dorment in parts of our bodies to the chimpanzees and in the Neaderthals to 1,2million years ago when hair still grows. The Neaderthals were only about 40,000 years ago, how do we know they were as hairless as us? It's the same gene expressed in different ways over the timeframe of the groups I mentioned previously. Meaning that it didn't just magically appear one day, it's always been there. And while Neanderthals went extinct c.40,000 BP, they and Homo sapiens diverged from their common anc... [More]
Comment icon #61 Posted by Chooky88 on 18 May, 2013, 23:22
I first heard this theory in high school in the 80s and I think it's very plausible. Look at your nose. Unlike other 'apes' our nostrils point down, not out front. Theorists state this is so they don't fill with water when swimming.
Comment icon #62 Posted by docyabut2 on 19 May, 2013, 23:01
Well I still don`nt get it, I think we were all a bunch of hairy beings just like the apes, until we went swimming in the ocean waters.:)
Comment icon #63 Posted by cormac mac airt on 19 May, 2013, 23:09
Well I still don`nt get it, I think we were all a bunch of hairy beings just like the apes, until we went swimming in the ocean waters. :) You're entitled to believe what you want. The evidence however suggests otherwise. cormac
Comment icon #64 Posted by lightly on 20 May, 2013, 0:56
Aquatics were thought to be extinct , until pods were spotted on the Florida coast. Pod of female aquatics performing a courting ritual to attract male aquatics
Comment icon #65 Posted by marc verhaegen on 31 May, 2013, 19:14
Humans didn’t descend from aquatic apes, of course, although our ancestors were too slow & heavy for regular running over open plains as some anthropologists still believe. Instead, Pleistocene Homo populations simply followed the coasts & rivers in Africa & Eurasia. 800,000 years ago, they even reached Flores more than 18 km overseas. - google “econiche Homo” - eBook “Was Man more aquatic in the past?” introd.Phillip Tobias http://www.benthamscience.com/ebooks/9781608052448/index.htm - guest post at Greg Laden’s blog http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2013/01/30/common-misconceptio... [More]


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