Re: The Aquatic Adaptation of the Human Ear

David Froehlich (
Fri, 13 Oct 1995 09:41:40 -0500

On 13 Oct 1995, it was written:

> To David Froehlich;
> How would you explain the following;
> 1) The fact that humans and elephants are the only land animals that
> shed tears when emotionally disturbed, and all the other animals that do
> this are marine.

References? Frankly I have never asked an elephant if it was emotionally
disturbed. For that matter, I haven't asked any marine mammals either.
How was this data collected? Who did it? What other animals did they
enquire of as to their emotional state?

Furthermore, a hypothesis must make testable predictions about the data.
What is the hypothesis and how can you test it. Were these observations
a priori or post hoc?

> 2) Brain growth requires adequate amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids in the
> diet, and these acids are common in the marine food chain but rare in the
> terrestrial one.

Does this mean that all terrestrial animals do not have brains? (I know
this is a cheap shot, so let me rephrase)

First of all, I am not a biophysiologist so is this truly accurate?
Secondly, how do terrestrial animals function and develop brains without
access to these fatty acids? Finally, all the primates are more
encephalized than any other terrestrial mammals, does this mean that all
primates evolved in an aquatic setting? The point I am trying to make
here is that increased brain encephalization is found in all primates, so
you cannot make arguements that all of the difference in humans is due to
some aquatic episode. Furhtermore, the encephalization in hominids takes
place primarily after Lucy and ilk after the putative aquatic episode
(the real question you should be asking is how the hominids did this
without access to the marine food chain in the sequence from
Australopithecus to Homo sapiens).

David J. Froehlich Phone: 512-471-6088
Vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory Fax: 512-471-5973
J.J. Pickle Research Campus
The University of Texas, Austin, Texas 78712