Elaine Morgan's The Aquatic Ape Theory

745 Words 3 Pages
In efforts to answer the enigma of how modern humans have evolved to become the way they are today, countless theories of human evolution have been proposed. Although there is no concrete means of knowing everything about early human development, the suggested theories make both accurate and inaccurate points based off the evidence attainable at this time. Among these proposed theories is the “aquatic ape theory”, which suggests that humans underwent an aquatic stage where they lived permanently or semi-permanently in water. This aquatic ancestor called Homo aquaticus account for a major gap in the fossil record. The idea of an aquatic human ancestor was first proposed by Max Westenhofer in the 1940s, and the notion was further developed by Marine biologist Alistair Hardy, who published a paper documenting the theory. However, the most well-known advocate for “aquatic ape theory” is Elaine Morgan due to her book The Aquatic Ape Hypothesis which was published in 1999. Ultimately, this theory was only proposed as a response to the criticism encompassing the African Savannah Theory. The main argument of the theory implies that humans have adaptations for a life with water, but not a life on the Savannah. Due to a flood in Africa, lakes and rivers became scattered all over, forcing early humans into the water in order to survive. With their evidence based upon select anatomical features of human, supporters of this theory conclude that the thick fat layer, hairlessness, and …show more content…
As no testing has been done to the bolster up the theory and no fossil evidence exists of thick fat layers, hairlessness, and bipedal swimming mammals, the theory obtains little respect from other scientists. Even today, people ignorantly believe this theory due to its simplicity and convincingness without realizing it is illogical after considering its

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