Re: Aquatic Ape Theory

Phil Nicholls (
7 Apr 1995 19:50:53 GMT

In article <>,
Stephen Wray <> wrote:
>> > I am looking for a book entitled "The Aquatic Ape" by Elaine Morgan.
>> > Was told about it a few years ago, but have never been able to find...

>> Don't know if you will find it worth the trouble when you get hold of it.
>> I read it earlier this year after extensive posts about it in
>> Essentially they seem to me to have about the same amount of validity (and
>> use a similar type of rargument) as Von Danicken's arguments in Chariots
>> of the Gods etc, that earth was actually settled by beings from outer
>> space!
>Oh no, I don't think so.
>Her arguments abour body-fat distribution in humans as compared with other
>primates seem to point towards at least semi-aquatic primates somewhere in
>our past.
>The sorts of subcutaneous fat we see in people are common in wallowing or
>swimming mammals, and are uncommon in primates. In fact, I think we are the
>*only* primate with subcutaneous fat deposits (other primates tend to build
>up fat around the viscera).

All mammals have deposits of subcutaneous fat. Humans have a continuous
layer of subcutaneous fat as do many aquatic mammals. Does this imply
aquatic ancestry? No. The pattern of fat distribution in humans is
identical to what you se in an obese ape and very different from that
observed in whales, dolphins and seals.

>This, and other anatomical features Morgan describes, tends to lend at
>least some credibility to her theory as to its origin. Von Daniken -- who
>actively faked evidence -- is in a different category altogether.

No, she didn't fake it. However, much of her "evidence" is flawed in
that it makes assumptions that are not true: eccrine sweating in
primates is the example I researched not long ago. What I have found
is that the closer you look at her evidence the less convincing it is.

"To ask a question you must first know most of the answer."
- Robert Sheckely

Phil Nicholls (