Aquatic Ape Hypothesis

#16
This thread reminded me of a special on Nova, Nat Geo, Discover or similar, from several years ago, on this same theory of early man spending a great time living by the water, and this quote from one of LKJ's references "... * The requirement of the human brain for certain nutrients including iodine[20] and some essential fatty acids[21] which are most easily found and absorbed in seafood..." This inclusion of marine fatty foods was specifically cited in the show as the probable causation for the human brain making sudden exponential leaps in capability, and the rise of modern man.
 

bngenoh

The Living Force
#19
It seems AAH goes back way further than i had thought of before, stubled upon this while doing research on the legend behind mermaids.
The first known mermaid stories appeared in Assyria, ca. 1000 BC. The goddess Atargatis, mother of Assyrian queen Semiramis, loved a mortal shepherd and unintentionally killed him. Ashamed, she jumped into a lake to take the form of a fish, but the waters would not conceal her divine beauty. Thereafter, she took the form of a mermaid-human above the waist, fish below—though the earliest representations of Atargatis showed her as a fish with a human head and arm, similar to the Babylonian Ea. The Greeks recognized Atargatis under the name Derketo. Prior to 546 BC, the Milesian philosopher Anaximander proposed that mankind had sprung from an aquatic species of animal. He thought that humans, with their extended infancy, could not have survived otherwise.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mermaid

More about Anaximanders speculation on origins of life:
Anaximander speculated about the beginnings and origin of animal life. Taking into account the existence of fossils, he claimed that animals sprang out of the sea long ago. The first animals were born trapped in a spiny bark, but as they got older, the bark would dry up and break.[38] As the early humidity evaporated, dry land emerged and, in time, humankind had to adapt.

[...]

He thought that, considering humans' extended infancy, we could not have survived in the primeval world in the same manner we do presently. Even though he had no theory of natural selection, some people consider him as evolution's most ancient proponent. The theory of an aquatic descent of man was re-conceived centuries later as the aquatic ape hypothesis. These pre-Darwinian concepts may seem strange, considering modern knowledge and scientific methods, because they present complete explanations of the universe while using bold and hard-to-demonstrate hypotheses.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anaximander

Just more resources for anyone who is so inclined to research AAH & its history, heck it makes it a whole lot easier if anyone wants to write a paper on AAH & its history.
 

Laura

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#20
Very interesting find. Sometimes the remarks of the "ancients" were remarkably prescient.
 

paralleloscope

The Living Force
#22
BBC Aquatic Ape documentary:

The Aquatic Ape Part I (14:51) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liuE4bkNly0
The Aquatic Ape Part II (14:31) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGF_KXbB2sQ&feature=related
The Aquatic Ape Part III (20:28) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_jK5ToB0BA&feature=related

...

Psyche said:
Spindle cells are also found in the brains of the humpback whales, fin whales, killer whales and sperm whales [1][2], bottlenose dolphin, Risso’s dolphin, beluga whales[3] and in the brains of African and Asian elephants.[4]
This is really interesting. Are these spindle cells perhaps foremost a fatty diet thing?

In his book The Driving Force: Food, Evolution and the Future (1989), [Dr Michael] Crawford explores many issues around "the land-water interface". To develop the large brain characteristic of the hominids, a chemical known as DHA was necessary. The lack of DHA in savannah food may explain the "degenerative evolution" of the brains of savannah species and the reason why Homo sapiens could not have evolved on the savannahs. The marine food chain, on the other hand, has an abundant supply of DHA. Early hominids had to make use of the marine food chain to enable the evolution of brain and brain size to keep pace with body size. Their claim that the human brain depended on the marine food chain suggests independent evidence in support of the importance of water in human evolution.
_http://home.pages.at/jhinrichs/aat/disp1dec.html
....

A heated but interesting debate on AA Theory from 2002;
_http://www.sciforums.com/Aquatic-Ape-Theory-t-10394.html
 

marc verhaegen

A Disturbance in the Force
#23
Hi all. Nice to see AAT discussed here.
Most discussions of AAT by paleo-anthropologists are irrelevant & outdated, not considering the recent literature on the subject.
Humans didn't descend from "aquatic apes", of course, although our Pleistocene ancestors were too slow & heavy for regular running over open plains as some anthropologists still believe.
Instead, Homo populations during the Ice Ages (with sea-levels often 100 m lower than today) simply followed the coasts & rivers in Africa & Eurasia (coastal dispersal model), eg, 800,000 years ago, they even reached Flores more than 18 km overseas.
Some recent info:
- google "econiche Homo"
- eBook Was Man more aquatic in the past? introduction 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-misconceptions-and-unproven-assumptions-about-the-aquatic-ape-theory
- http://greencomet.org/2013/05/26/aquatic-ape-the-theory-evolves/
- Human Evolution conference London 8–10 May 2013 with David Attenborough, Don Johanson etc. www.royalmarsden.nhs.uk/education/education-conference-centre/study-days-conferences/pages/2013-evolution.aspx
- M Verhaegen & S Munro 2011 "Pachyosteosclerosis suggests archaic Homo frequently collected sessile littoral foods" HOMO – J compar hum Biol 62:237-247
- M Vaneechoutte, S Munro & M Verhaegen 2012 "Reply to John Langdon's review of the eBook: Was Man more aquatic in the past?" HOMO – J compar hum Biol 63:496-503
- for ape & australopith evolution google "aquarboreal"
marc verhaegen tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/AAT
 

Laura

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#24
Thanks for the input, marc. That deals with some issues I have had with the AAT and certainly works better as a possible/probable scenario. I've had to deal personally (in my family) with what may be a result of exactly that sort of evolution: hidradenitis suppurativa, so the topic is quite relevant to our daily lives, I think.
 

Inquorate

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
#25
Path27 said:
This reminds me of the following quote:

Q: (L) I have tried to imagine a planet full of people of pure
Aryan types, or purified Celtics, and it is difficult to
imagine what such a culture would be like. Is there
anything that we can look at, literary or otherwise, that
would give me a concept of what this culture or society
could have been like?

A: Search Japan and the Bahamas.

Q: (L) What?! What do Japan and the Bahamas have in common?

A: See for yourself. Remember, learning is fun and
energizes. Spoonfeeding sessions do little for you.
Could the connection between Japan and the Bahamas be as simple as both of them being insular areas surrounded by water? Books like Where Troy Once Stood and Cataclysm of The Gods by Hugh Fox indicate that Europeans had a real affinity for the sea -- maybe that's a cultural holdover that goes back longer than people have guessed. If Kantek was a really watery planet, maybe that's why chunks of ice and fish occasionally fall out of the sky (like Charles Fort records). And if one part of human evolution happened there, maybe it provided a very marine environment where these kinds of adaptations could have occurred?
Given that the question posed to the C's was about culture, I did a google search and came up with the following;

"According to Hofstede (1993), Trompannar (1992) and other researchers, cultures are the building block of different people groups. Cultures tend to impact and influence human behavior, thereby making it more predictable. People of a specific culture tend to have their common methods and codes of effective communication. Of course, effective communication is an essential skill both in business and in life. In international business it is important to realize that cultural differences severely affect the communication process. According to anthropologist Edward Hall, there is a clear distinction in the way of communicating between the high-context and low-context cultures (Mujtaba, 2007). In high-context cultures such as the Bahamas, Thailand, Japan, or India, there is a less verbally detailed communication and less written/formal information. There is a more subliminal understanding of what is communicated. Often what is left unsaid is as important as what is said."

_http://journals.cluteonline.com/index.php/JDM/article/download/813/797
 

irjo

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
#26
Inquorate said:
Path27 said:
This reminds me of the following quote:

Q: (L) I have tried to imagine a planet full of people of pure
Aryan types, or purified Celtics, and it is difficult to
imagine what such a culture would be like. Is there
anything that we can look at, literary or otherwise, that
would give me a concept of what this culture or society
could have been like?

A: Search Japan and the Bahamas.

Q: (L) What?! What do Japan and the Bahamas have in common?

A: See for yourself. Remember, learning is fun and
energizes. Spoonfeeding sessions do little for you.
Could the connection between Japan and the Bahamas be as simple as both of them being insular areas surrounded by water? Books like Where Troy Once Stood and Cataclysm of The Gods by Hugh Fox indicate that Europeans had a real affinity for the sea -- maybe that's a cultural holdover that goes back longer than people have guessed. If Kantek was a really watery planet, maybe that's why chunks of ice and fish occasionally fall out of the sky (like Charles Fort records). And if one part of human evolution happened there, maybe it provided a very marine environment where these kinds of adaptations could have occurred?
Given that the question posed to the C's was about culture, I did a google search and came up with the following;

"According to Hofstede (1993), Trompannar (1992) and other researchers, cultures are the building block of different people groups. Cultures tend to impact and influence human behavior, thereby making it more predictable. People of a specific culture tend to have their common methods and codes of effective communication. Of course, effective communication is an essential skill both in business and in life. In international business it is important to realize that cultural differences severely affect the communication process. According to anthropologist Edward Hall, there is a clear distinction in the way of communicating between the high-context and low-context cultures (Mujtaba, 2007). In high-context cultures such as the Bahamas, Thailand, Japan, or India, there is a less verbally detailed communication and less written/formal information. There is a more subliminal understanding of what is communicated. Often what is left unsaid is as important as what is said."

_http://journals.cluteonline.com/index.php/JDM/article/download/813/797
Good info to start with! It could give us a clue of what the C's meant!
 

marc verhaegen

A Disturbance in the Force
#27
"Thanks for the input, marc. That deals with some issues I have had with the AAT and certainly works better as a possible/probable scenario. I've had to deal personally (in my family) with what may be a result of exactly that sort of evolution: hidradenitis suppurativa, so the topic is quite relevant to our daily lives, I think."

Sorry for this belated reply.
Yes, hidradenitis suppurativa (acné inversa) might perhaps be one of the many diseases that could be due to our semi-aquatic past: acné, seborrheic dermatitis, male pattern alopecia, asthma, anal & vaginal prolapses, lumbarthrosis, vasomotor rhinopathy, sleep apnea syndrome, etc.
Human sebum contains a lot of squalene, as in beavers & otters, and premature human babies are often born with a sebaceous layer of vernix caseosa (with a lot of squalene).
I guess that the presence of abundant sebaceous glands in the ano-genital resion (as in acné inversa) was an adaptation to protect the 'exits' of our bodies in an aquatic (marine?) environment.

A better term than AAT is 'littoral theory' (coastal dispersal model): rather than running over savannas after ungulates (the 'endurance running' nonsnense), Homo populations during the Ice Ages simply followed the coasts & rivers, beach-combing, wading & diving for different waterside & shallow aquatic plant & animal foods.
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Marc_Verhaegen/contributions?ev=prf_act
 
#28
There is a relatively recent and very good evidence for this theory, surely several saw it ... have wondered why the fingertips are wrinkled with water? (No, it is not intracellular water saturation) but it is surface Rugosa allows us to better handle the elusive wet and often smooth objects (seafood) I think it would also provide better support and facilitate walking between rocks and rocks.
 

Jeffrey of Troy

The Force is Strong With This One
#29
Being the only primates who are also aquatic mammals may be (one reason, at least) why we tend to get fat:

As you enter the water, you start to lose heat from your body that you aren’t losing on land or air,” he explains. To counteract that constant loss of heat, humans use wet suits, whales have blubber, and otters have thick fur. “But really the easiest way to counteract it is to get bigger,” Gearty says. As bodies balloon, volume increases faster than surface area does, so you produce more heat in your body but lose comparatively less of it from your skin. But animals can’t become infinitely big because larger bodies also demand more fuel. There’s only so much food that an animal can reasonably find, catch, and swallow.

...

And as always in biology, there are exceptions. Sea otters, for example, are unusually small for marine mammals—they’re about as big as a Labrador. That might be because their extremely thick fur, with up to a million hairs per square inch, allows them to stay warm without being big. They also spend a lot of time on land, where heat loss is less of a problem.
Why Whales Got So Big
 

Zar

Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
#30
Wow AAH is pretty fascinating and does seem to be a plausible/probable theory. I was reminded of this video I watched of babies swimming quite well.
 
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