Aquatic Apes++

- - posted in Ancient Archives

“You can’t get a chimp to hold its breath”

I knew that the Savannah Theory (once the conventional wisdom) was looking weak, but I hadn’t realised that the Aquatic Ape theory was doing so well. Excellent!

We clearly didn’t develop to live on the open plains of Africa (our really dilute urine is more than a hint) and we’re packed with features closely associated with life on the coast. The idea that recent human ancestors lived in the sea is rather silly, but the idea that we were primarily a shoreline animal has a lot to support it.

My own pet extensions of this idea are:

  • Mankind spread around the earth by following the shoreline first, then moving inland as populations increased.
  • We are strangely attracted to the sea even now. Give people a choice of where to go to relax, and most of them will choose the sea.
  • Dogs love beaches too, and they evolved with us. As ‘Science’ this one is rubbish, but it’s my idea and I like it. So there.

Of course, that’s just stuff I thought of while soaking in a bath, so I was quite pleased to see that coastal migration is A Proper Theory :-)

Link: BBC - Radio 4 - Scars of Evolution (Narrated by David Attenborough!)