Was Man More Aquatic in the Past? Fifty Years After Alister Hardy - Waterside Hypotheses of Human Evolution

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The book starts from the observation that humans are very different from the other primates. Why are we naked? Why do we speak? Why do we walk upright? Fifty years ago, in 1960, marine biologist Sir ...
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Aquatic Scenarios in the Thinking on Human Evolution: What are they and How do they Compare?

Pp. 106-119 (14)

Algis V. Kuliukas and Elaine Morgan

Abstract

Missing in the literature to date is a concise description of the various scenarios proposing that human evolution was affected, to some extent, by selection from wading, swimming and diving through water. Most of it tends to focus on just one such scenario, first proposed by Hardy [1] and promoted by Morgan [2-6], which suggested that a more aquatic interlude was contemporaneous with, and probably caused, the split between Pan and Homo, and was followed by a U-turn back to a fully terrestrial life. Although theirs is still the most wellknown, it is not the only one. Other scenarios, for example that proposed by Verhaegen et al. [7-11], differ quite markedly in timescale, the proposed degree and mode of aquatic selection, and in terms of the evidence used in support. This Chapter reports more than ten such ideas and summarizes six aquatic scenarios and clarifies the differences between them. It also identifies a common thread between them, and uses it to propose a new label and definition for them.

Keywords:

Aquatic scenarios, waterside hypotheses, Hardy, Morgan, Verhaegen

Affiliation:

Centre for Forensic Science, University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley WA 6009, Australia