- Series: Most Credible Theory of Human Evolution
- Paperback: 205 pages
- Publisher: Souvenir Press; New edition edition (September 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0285635182
- ISBN-13: 978-0285635180
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.8 x 5.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Aquatic Ape Hypothesis (Condor Indep Voices) Paperback – September, 1999
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Top Customer Reviews
Elaine Morgan is that rarity, a scientist who can write so that the layman can understand.
This book deals with the theory--she calls it merely an hypothesis--that early pre-hominids (our ancestors) went through an aquatic period, when they lived in shallow water, which accounts for our relatively hairless bodies, bipedal stance, subcutaneous layer of fat, eccrine sweat gland system, controllable breathing, downward pointing nostrils and other characteristics that make homo sapiens unique.
She discusses other theories put forward by paleoanthropologists and other scientists respectfully, while discussing their flaws, many of which they themselves acknowledge.
I first heard of the Aquatic Ape Theory (AAT) decades ago, when I first read Desmond Morris's book, "The Naked Ape," in which he mentioned the theory briefly. He apparently believed that our pre-human ancestors dropped out of the receding African arboreal environment, hit the savannah running, and shed their fur as they ran in order to cool off. Of course that does not account for the subcutaneous layer of fat which is more characteristic of aquatic animals like the whale, and which functions to provide both warmth and flotation. The AAT made more sense to me, and I have been on the lookout for this book ever since.
Elaine Morgan does not disappoint. Her careful reasoning is welcome and persuasive. I am delighted with both of her books and shall read her latest with interest.Read more ›
Most of us who believe in Darwin accept that there was once a species of ape living in Africa from which all people are descended as well as all modern apes such as gorillas and chimpanzees. Looking at the modern apes, we can observe some similarities with ourselves but there are also many obvious differences. Those apes are much hairier than us and often spend their time in trees. When they walk on the ground, they generally do so on four legs rather than two. Apes use body language far more than we do, yet our faces are much more expressive than theirs. Our noses are also very different from theirs. There are less obvious but equally important differences such as the location of the larynx. Of course, there are noticeable differences between different species of apes, but they have more in common with each other than any of them do with us.
The author suggests that there may have been a time when our ancestors were forced to adapt to a semi-aquatic lifestyle. On that basis, the likeliest scenario is that we are descended from a group of apes then living in Africa near the Red Sea, maybe around six or seven million years ago. The author doesn't mention the Sahara desert but I know from other sources that it is of more recent origin, maybe three or four million years old, so the region was very different before that.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Given sufficient and convincing evidence in this book, I being a follower of Evolution, from now on, am a follower of Evolution on Homo sapiens by means of the AAT.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Very good scientific issues presented. This is a nicely written paper that presents the facts for consideration of the theory that man and apes are related via a common aquatic... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Albert Holden
I read Elaine Morgan's book 'The Descent of Woman' in the late 1970s, shortly after it's publication in 1976. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Linda R. Thompson
An amazing and clearly possible/probable theory that will likely never be accepted by the male dominated science community!Published 9 months ago by Diane mongiello
Not going to lie guys, this is super convincing. It explains so many of the inconsistencies and gaps in the current theory on human origins. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Eric Daily
This is the "seminal" work on this theory that reads well but leaves many questions. Take it with a grain of salt.Published 13 months ago by Kindle Customer
If I were to describe this particular book in one word, it would be fascinating. Before watching a documentary once called: "Mermaids" The Body Found" I can honestly... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Irene
Morgan's explanations of several puzzles goes unrefuted as far as I know. The theory hasn't been proved? Yeah! It has just been ignored. No evidence? Ok no fossils. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Shane E Riorden