Re: Aquatic ape theory

Sean Stinson (
26 Sep 1995 20:48:55 GMT

Sean Stinson wrote:
>"Early human" populations may have been selected on their ability to
>better resist aquitic predator attacks, thus acquiring
>more and more aquitic traits.

Chris replied,
: You can only pass on your genes if you survive the attack. The best way
: to survive a croc attack is to avoid it; i.e. stay out of the water.

I was assuming that these "Early humans" were not in the
swamp/water by choice in the first place. I'm guessing
that they were out competed by rivals, other species with
the same diet, environment disaster,...either way they were
pushed into marginal lands and were doing their best to
survive. If this is true, then I'm certain that they got pretty good at
avoiding crocodile attacks, and those who were best at it survived the
most attacks and had the most offspring. Just as Darwin would
have predicted, they would have evolved based on the survival of
the fittest. Nothing new here.

: Could someone please explain to me how a wading bipedal primate might be
: so adapted? As far as I can tell, hominids are only the most advanced
: form of croc chow to have evolved.

As far as I know almost all hominids are highly social creatures,
which form packs when moving. Chances are that if your friend gets
eaten you are going to get away. Evolution does not rely on the
survival of individuals. It relies on the survival of populations.
Populations are highly resilent to all forms of attack. It takes
a disaster to wipe out a whole population. ex. Mount St. Helen,
Nazi genocide,....oops none of these worked either,..ahh...modern
urban development, which needs to remove the entire habitat in order
to wipe out a whole species, even then some species are re-adapting
back into our urban centres, racoon, rat,..etc. As threatening as
crocodiles are I don't think they could wipe out a whole population.
If so...what species/population have they eliminated lately? Fish,
I think a more legitimate criticism is of heat conservation. Water
conducts up to 20 times(?) more heat than air, How does a terrestrial
animal with no insulating fat survive the hypothermia? Even small
temperature gradients can be lethal over a suitable period of time
(at least to modern humans).

: Sean
PS-Many modern cultures live in close proximity to "croc" pops.
and yet are surviving just fine.