Re: Aquatic ape theory

chris brochu (
29 Sep 1995 16:23:59 GMT

In article <44e7tj$> Thomas Clarke, writes:
>I live in Florida. Lots of gators around here. You stay away from
>the places where they live. There are crocodiles in the Everglades
>as well down on the salt fringes of Florida Bay.
>I have never seen an alligator or a crocodile on a sandy beach.
>As I have said in other posts, the beach is my prefered location for
>the AA phase.

This is an invalid comparison for three reasons:

1. Crocodylus acutus (the American crocodile) is severely depleted
throughout it's range. Its absence from beaches is probably based on the
same force that keeps sea turtles from nesting on many Florida beaches -
habitat modification or loss.

2. Alligators lack the lingual salt glands found in crocodylids. They
stay away from sea water more than crocodylids, because their kidneys
can't handle the salt overload as well. They do show up on beaches,
though - recently, a dwarf caiman washed up alive on a beach in Brazil.

3. Alligatorids - and this is very important - are less aggressive, and
prefer smaller prey, than crocodylids. It's often been said that if you
leave a croc, gator, and person in a room alone, only the croc will come
out alive. Furthermore, if you scan the alligator attack records over
the past twenty or so years, you'll see that most victims are small

There are, of course, exceptions. I have a 20-inch caiman at home that
keeps trying to eat my thumb.

>Hominds bidedal enough to wade out onto the salt flats and gather
>oysters grew fat and had lots of children.

Why not do the really sensible thing and wait for the tide to go out, so
you can just walk to the oyster beds?