The Waterside Ape : An Alternative Account of Human Evolution

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Author(s): Peter H. Rhys Evans

Why are humans so fond of water?

Why is our skin colour so variable?

Why aren’t we hairy like our close ape relatives?

A savannah scenario of human evolution has been widely accepted primarily due to fossil evidence; and fossils do not offer insight into these questions. Other alternative evolutionary scenarios might, but these models have been rejected. This book explores a controversial idea – that human evolution was intimately associated with watery habitats as much or more than typical savannahs. Written from a medical point of view, the author presents evidence supporting a credible alternative explanation for how humans diverged from our primate ancestors. Anatomical and physiological evidence offer insight into hairlessness, different coloured skin, subcutaneous fat, large brains, a marine-type kidney, a unique heat regulation system and speech. This evidence suggests that humans may well have evolved, not just as savannah mammals, as is generally believed, but with more affinity for aquatic habitats – rivers, streams, lakes and coasts.

Key Features:

  • Presents the evidence for a close association between riparian habitats and the origin of humans
  • Reviews the "savannah ape" hypothesis for human origins
  • Describes various anatomical adaptations that are associated with hypotheses of human evolution
  • Explores characteristics from the head and neck such as skull and sinus structures, the larynx and ear structures and functions



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    EAN: 9780429629419