Aquatic Ape Theory resurfaces.

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by siliconshrew, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. siliconshrew Banned Banned

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    http://www.smh.com.au/news/opinion/cavedwellers-in-queensland/2007/10/17/1192300857029.html

    *AUSTRALIAN scientists working on an archaeological cave dig in South Africa have found evidence that some prehistoric humans began eating seafood and painting up to 30,000 years earlier than had been thought.

    The discovery of this artistic, beach-loving, lobster-chomping hominid (I do hope they christen him "Bronte-saurus") is invaluable to the understanding of our forebears. "It is hard to get into the mind of early people and find out what they were thinking," a University of NSW archaeologist, Dr Andy Herries, said.*


    I've never liked the Savannah hypothesis. he first time I read about AAT it made perfect sense. Evolution requires purpose.

    The first spear was for impaling fish. The first rock tool was for breaking shellfish. It's all so very logical.

    I daresay it will become the accepted theory over time. The savannah one is pretty much out the window now.
     
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  3. Gustav Banned Banned

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    not from that article it doesnt
    aat = ape to homind via an aquatic phase
    semi or otherwise
     
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  5. siliconshrew Banned Banned

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    No ofcourse not. That's just another piece of the puzzle. Protein gave us our large brains. Protein from fish. Not protein from gazelles chased down by a pack of monkeys.

    When you stop and consider it logically the Savannah Hypothesis is the only one that makes sense.

    Other apes generally don't like water. We've been swimming in it, fishing out of it and boating on it since long before civilisation was ever established. It's a part of our nature. Only close ties to water would cause that.

    Why do we have so many sweat glands if we aren't dependant on water. Other apes have far fewer and get most of their water from fruit. Generally they stay away from water entirely.
     
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  7. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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  8. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

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    I don't see anything in the article boasting AAT. The resurfacing of this assertion must be in ones imagination.
     
  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    It's evidence that the origination of humans as we know them - the transition to tool using, bipedal, fire making, unique throat and nasal morphology (singing or talking), apes - took place among water foraging, beach living ancestors

    rather than dryland, savanna dwelling ancestors.

    The aquatic ape theory is really a "wading ape" theory, or "amphibious ape" theory.
     
  10. Enmos Staff Member

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    Compliments on the title

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  11. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Didn't humans have to cross the ocean to get to Australia? Which means they must have been a seafaring people to begin with.
     
  12. Enmos Staff Member

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    But that was rather late in human history, and they never made a return trip as far as I know.

    Edit: Never mind, I misunderstood

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  13. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    As I have usually seen it presented, it hypothesizes our ancestors as being rather like river otters. Needing to sleep and breed on land, not as thoroughly clumsy on land as the pinnipeds, but overall inclined to spend most of their time in the water.

    Mammals and birds with their high-energy endothermic air-breathing metabolism absolutely rule aquatic environments. So it would indeed have been much easier for early hominids to thrive in the lagoons than on the savannah, until they invented the various technologies required to build hunting weapons.

    We are buoyant (unlike all other apes, which is undoubtedly why they don't like water) and we have these little vestigial webs between our fingers (again unlike all other apes). Even modern humans are amazingly well adapted to the water, our ancestors could easily have been even more so.

    What puzzles me is that if we have an aquatic background, why are we one of the few species of mammals whose young have to be taught to swim, instead of doing it instinctively when placed in water? Even cats can swim naturally.

    Additionally, AFAIK we have not yet discovered an intact Neanderthal preserved in ice, but judging from the bones we have found I've seen it hypothesized that Neanderthals were not buoyant. This wreaks havoc with the AAT, leaving us at best a scenario in which only the ancestors of sapiens were aquatic, but despite the lack of that advantage the Neanderthal line evolved in rather close parallel.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2008
  14. siliconshrew Banned Banned

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    Lucy was found in the middle of a dried up ancient lake. Surrounded by crabs claws and fish bones.

    Even if we did spend a couple of million years in an amazon like environment we've been almost entirely land dwellers for the last 5 million years or so. Therefore we may have lost many adaptations for a semi-aquatic existance. Babies do however have a diving reflex which makes a lot of sense. As soon as their faces get wet they hold their breaths. We have a dropped larynx which enables us to stop breathing like this. Other apes don't. In fact land mammals in general don't. It has no advantages on land. In fact it can be the cause of choking and death. Only marine mammals like dolphins usually have a dropped larynx.

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    The Proboscis Monkey of Indonesia is one of two semi-aquatic monkeys in the world. Note the unusually large nose. Perhaps this helps to keep water out of the nasal passages. Interestingly enough the only ape with a large protruding nose is human beings.
     
  15. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

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    Why then can dogs hold their breath underwater for up to 3 minutes while humans about only 1 minute? The so-called 'diving-reflex' is found in most all mammals to some degree.

    Most land mammals are able to keep their nostrils out of water, while humans and apes cannot, that is, without learning how to swim first.
     
  16. Bradley364 DIG HARD! Registered Senior Member

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    Wait what? Brad is back?

    Regardless, the amount of mind blowing facts I've read in the last minute or so are daunting, This debate really has great merit, keep it up, I'll be readin'
     
  17. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    It's also hard to get into the mind of 21st century Australian people and find out what they were thinking, apparently. Age is no excuse.
     
  18. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    So does my cat, but he doesn't come from an aquatic environment. So far as he's willing to tell me, anyway.
     
  19. Hercules Rockefeller Beatings will continue until morale improves. Moderator

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  20. siliconshrew Banned Banned

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    "Why then can dogs hold their breath underwater for up to 3 minutes while humans about only 1 minute? The so-called 'diving-reflex' is found in most all mammals to some degree."

    I don't recall saying that dogs couldn't dive. Why? I have no idea really. Some dogs are especially bred for it. Such as water hounds who fetch shot birds.

    "Most land mammals are able to keep their nostrils out of water, while humans and apes cannot, that is, without learning how to swim first."

    Human babies can automatically swim. They are born knowing how to. Unfortunately its an inate ability that is lost over time if unused. Since many children have never been in deep water until they are several years old they have relearn the skill.

    "It's also hard to get into the mind of 21st century Australian people and find out what they were thinking, apparently. Age is no excuse."

    What are you on about Mr P?

    "So does my cat, but he doesn't come from an aquatic environment. So far as he's willing to tell me, anyway."

    Your cat holds its breath whenever its face gets wet. What rot. I suppose you tried this in the bathtub. Hope the doctors take the stitches out of your arms and face real soon.
     
  21. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Human babies are helpless in many ways compared with other animals - one might as well ask why if they come from a savanna background they have to be taught how to walk, instead of doing it automatically when placed on the ground.

    That said, babies can swim before they can walk, on average.
    Humans can hold their breath longer than dogs can, with practice. And humans can naturally "lock down" their throat - it's a swallowing motion, divers learn it - and hold their breath without serious physical effort at great depth. Dogs, like chimps, can only hold their breath by controlling the muscles of their diaphragm and chest.

    Some people credit this breath control in the throat with enabling humans to sing and talk. For an example of what it can do, listen to Tuvan singers - one of the oldest extant singing traditions in the world.
    Humans can dive from heights and swim forcefully under water without driving water into their nose - a very unusual morphology.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2008
  22. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    i have to say the aquatic ape theory makes alot more sence than the sevana ape does. Especially when you think of our brains being so relient on ameno acids that are only found (in large quanities) in seafood (especially shellfish). Its hard to see how they could have developed without a ritch source of these
     
  23. siliconshrew Banned Banned

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    The theory I like is that north west africa became flooded as a result of rising sea levels and apes living in the area either drowned or found themselves stranded on small islands with limited food. To survive they had to wade or splash across waterways to other islands whenever food resources ran low. The environment would have been something like the Amazon today. Over time they adapted to these conditions and learned to eat a new range of food supplies.

    You can imagine a hungry ape pecking away at a dead fish washed up on the beach of a small island. It's only a matter of time before he or his descendants try to catch fish. This was a very intelligent animal and the demands of a new environment forced him to use his brain in new ways. Changing environment caused dolphins to become a lot smarter and they are only descended from a dog like creature. Our own ancestors soon realised a long pointy stick was the best way of catching fish. Just as chimps today use twigs to get termites. Rocks would have been obviously good tools for opening shellfish. Otters use rocks for this purpose.

    Two other animals thought to have semi-aquatic histories are the elephant which was mentioned by someone else and the pig. Pigs love swimming. Loss of body hair or thinning of it seems to be a common trait among large semi-aquatic and aquatic animals. Smaller animals tend to keep their fur but develop a waterproof coat. Larger creatures can maintain body heat better and the drag in water far outweighs its usefulness as a source of warmth. Instead they evolve a sub-cutaneous fat layer under the skin all over the body.
     

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