The Aquatic Ape Theory

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Around five to seven million years ago in Africa, a man/ape primate ventured about in the wooded areas. (Morgan, 1982) “My thesis is that a branch of this primitive ape-stock was forced by competition from life in the trees to feed on the sea-shores and to hunt for food, shellfish, sea-urchins etc.”, quoted from Alister Hardy. For the need of food, shelter, space, and resources, the hominid relocated from its traditional environment of the tree, toward water. As evident today, many species of monkeys and apes seek these resources in trees. According to Elaine Morgan, the man/ape primates that stayed and continued to survive in the wooded environment millions of years ago, are the direct ancestors of today’s monkey and ape primates, while the ones that chose to move to the water are the direct ancestors of today’s humans. As proposed by AAT, this is the point along the evolutionary line in which humans and ape primates split.
The Savannah Theory, formulated by Raymond Dart in 1925, also proposes this same split but in a different way. (Morgan, 1995) According to the Savannah Theory, the split occurred by the ape primates staying among the trees, while the hominids evolved into today’s humans by relocating into the grasslands of Africa, learning to walk upright to view the horizon in search of food and predators. In 1995 the theory was stated as failed, due to the discovery by Marc Verhaegen, that the African Savannah did not exist until after human’s evolution adaptation of bipedalism. (Westrup, 2002) Also, today’s humans don’t correctly relate physically with the animals of the Savannah, but very similar to many aquatic organisms. Most mammals of hot, dry climate don’t need a lot of water to survive, giving them a high resistance...

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...ntinual study is still important. In studying and doing more research on the AAT, we as humans can get a better grasp on how we evolved into what we are today and how we are still evolving. Further studies could help with medical research such as how we evolve to fight certain diseases, how climate and location effects human health, and specific occurrences such as childbirth. AAT uses the features of today’s humans as physical evidence of the long past of humans transformation from man/ape primates. It uses these features as the foundation for its explanation. AAT explains the voyage that gives us a direct distinction from man and ape; the journey toward the water, the change into aquatic life, and the adaptations that evolved. Although very criticized, AAT will stand the test of time with its complete storyline and over whelming amount of supporting evidence.

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