Re: aquatic humans...

Patrick Powers (
25 Jan 1995 21:16:26 GMT

In defense of the AAH: Arboreal animals do not walk upright due to the
construction of the hips. The hip joints of humans could have evolved
to lower resistance in water. Possibly humans could have evolved in
treed swamps in which it would be an advantage to be able both to swim
and to climb.

The point is that there is more circumstantial evidence for the AAH than
hairlessness. With all due respect for Mr. Firl and my lack of expertise,
he seems to offer an alternative explanation, not a contradiction.

In article <>,
Gerold Firl <> wrote:
<In article <3g23fs$> (John Brock) writes:
<>I wonder if anyone can tell me whether there exists any particularly
<>damning counterargument to the Aquatic Ape theory, some major flaw in
<>the theory, or is it simply dismissed for lack of fossil evidence.
<The aquatic ape hypothesis (AAH) is largely based on a misunderstanding of
<the physiological basis for the naked human skin. Many aquatic mammals are
<hairless, so the hypothesis was raised that humans may have taken an
<aquatic detour on their evolutionary path. A cursory examination of human
<physiology is sufficient to provide a more parsimonious explanation
<however. Humans have the most effective heat-rejection system of any animal
<on earth; this is one of our truely unique adaptations. Our naked skin
<functions as an evaporative heat-transfer interface, giving us the ability
<to engage in prolonged activity at high temperatures. I would suggest that
<the development of of our sweat system was a necessary prerequisite, or at
<least co-development, for full bipedalism on the open savanna. By giving
<hominids an environmental niche where they could venture out from the trees
<in safety (during high-temperature mid-day conditions, when other savanna
<dwellers are quiescent), our sweat system may have made it possible for the
<awkward transition from an arboreal to terrestrial lifestyle to take place.
<There is no need for the aquatic hypothesis.
<Disclaimer claims dat de claims claimed in dis are de claims of meself,
<me, and me alone, so sue us god. I won't tell Bill & Dave if you won't.
<=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=---- Gerold Firl @ ..hplabs!hp-sdd!geroldf