Aquatic Ape Human Ancestor Theory

Aquatic Ape Theory - What is it?

A Brief Summary of AAT - key arguments

A Brief History and Key Proponents of AAT

When / Where / How?

Ape to Human Evolution Timeline

Alternative theories of human evolution

Wikipedia and the scientific community

... Anatomical Evidence
... Bipedalism
... Birth and babies
... Brain
... Breath control
... Descended larynx
... Diet
... Diseases
... Fat
... Fingers, toes and feet
... Furlessness
... Hair and baldness
... Human ailments
... Kidneys
... Language & Song
... Menopause
... Nose
... Olfactory sense
... Pachyostosis
... Paranasal Sinuses
... Platycephaly
... Reverse osmosis
... Sexual features
... Sleep (USWS)
... Surfer's ear
... Sweating
... Tears
... Underwater vision
... Viruses
... Waterside environments

. Homo Ancestors
... Trachillos bipedal hominids
... Homo erectus
... Homo neanderthalensis
... Sea Gypsies/ the Moken
... Homo sapiens - water afinity
... Coastal Migration
... Pan and Gorilla ancestry
... Semi-Aquatic Animals

. Testable Hypotheses
. Fossil evidence
. Genetic evidence
. Paleoecological evidence
. Retroviral marker in apes
. Acheulean handaxes

A call to scientists...

Recent News and Updates

Books and publications


Videos links



Homo floresiensis

The Hobbit

Homo floresiensis ("Flores Man"; nicknamed "hobbit") is a small species of archaic human which inhabited the island of Flores, Indonesia, until the arrival of modern humans about 50,000 years ago. (See also Homo luzonensis)

Homo florensiensis

The remains of an individual who would have stood about 1.1 m (3 ft 7 in) in height were discovered in 2003 at Liang Bua on the island of Flores in Indonesia. Partial skeletons of nine individuals have been recovered, including one complete skull, referred to as "LB1". These remains have been the subject of intense research to determine whether they represent a species distinct from modern humans; the dominant consensus is that these remains do represent a distinct species due to genetic and anatomical differences.[Wikipedia]

The leg bones are thicker than those of modern humans and they had unusually flat and long feet in relation with the rest of the body. [link] As we have seen, long flat feet are an indication of habitual swimming.

Because of a deep neighbouring strait, Flores remained isolated during the last glacial period, despite the low sea levels. Therefore, the ancestors of H. floresiensis could perhaps have reached the isolated island by water transport, perhaps arriving in bamboo rafts around 1 million years ago, although it is not impossible that they could have swum this distance.

An early theory proposed that H. florensiensis might be related to Homo erectus and that they had developed insular dwarfism as a result of in-breeding and by being isolated on the island. In 2017 a cladistic analysis more or less discredited this view and it is now believed that the species may have been the result of a much earlier migration out of Africa. []

"At some stages and in some places, humans learned to cross the water, even without a land-bridge. Java and Bali were periodically connected to the Asian mainland, so that animals, including humans, could easily gain access to them. However, the Indonesian island of Flores, part of what was named Wallacia (after Alfred Russel Wallace), could be reached only by sea crossings, even when the sea level was at its lowest. Yet stone tools and fossil bones on Flores show that humans (probably Homo erectus) and archaic elephants (Stegodon) must have crossed this deep oceanic channel 0.9 to 0.8 Ma [1, 2]. We have no evidence to suggest that they knew how to make boats so early. Either they floated across using tree trunks, rafts of detached vegetation, or logs, or they paddled holding floats, or they swam. Somehow or other, humans could cross a stretch of water, which, at lowest sea level, was 19-20 kilometers wide nearly a million years ago [3-6]. Morwood et al. [1, 2] have concluded that Homo erectus was capable of repeated water crossings using water-craft, by the beginning of the middle Pleistocene, 0.7-0.9 Ma."

[Philip Tobias. Was Man More Aquatic in the Past? p.4]

[1] Aiello L, Wells J. Energetics and the evolution of the genus Homo. Ann Rev Anthropol 2002; 31: 323-38.
[2] Bramble D, Lieberman D. Endurance running and the evolution of Homo. Nature 2004; 432: 345-52.
[3] Lieberman D, Bramble D, Raichlen D, Shea J. The evolution of endurance running and the tyranny of ethnography: A
reply to Pickering and Bunn (2007). J Human Evol 2007; 53: 439-42.
[4] Arcadi AC. 2006. Species reliance in Pleistocene hominids that traveled far and ate widely: An analogy to the wolf-like
canids. J Human Evol 2006; 51: 383-94.
[5] Verhaegen M, Munro S, Vaneechoutte M, Bender-Oser N, Bender R. The original econiche of the genus Homo: Open
plain or waterside? In: Muñoz S, Ed. Ecology research progress. New York: Nova Publishers 2008; pp.155-86.
[6] Speth JD. Early hominid subsistence strategies in seasonal habitats. J Archaeol Sci 1987; 14: 13-29.

Indonesia's Flores 'hobbits’ may be the earliest human species to have left Africa 1.75 million years ago

'Hobbit' species did not evolve from ancestor of modern humans, research finds

Bone study shows there is no evidence the 1.1-metre tall Homo floresiensis had any links with the much larger Homo erectus

Fast Evolution Explains Diminutive Size of Homo floresiensis


In 2004, archaeologists uncovered some very well-preserved fossil remains in the Liang Bua cave on Flores Island, Indonesia. The diminutive size of this new human species, H.floresiensis, earned it the nickname Hobbit. Researchers believed it had survived until the end of the last Ice Age, c 18 ka, much later than Neanderthals lived, later than any human species other than our own.

Interpretations of Hobbit met with fierce criticism from anthropologists & evolutionary biologists. The poor Hobbit was accused of being an example not of a small new human species, but an abnormal H.sapiens, bearing any of a variety of growth & hormonal conditions. Hobbit, many scientists decided, had no place among the giants of the human evolutionary record. Yet she (the Hobbit was later found to be a female) had her revenge. This tiny small-brained creature stood just a bit more than 3 feet tall, and had a brain as big as a chimp. But her place in the human ancestral line was cemented when researchers uncovered another tiny individual in Flores. This 2nd, much older discovery debunked the idea that the Hobbit was a unique, abnormal H.sapiens. After 15 years, anthropologists now confidently date the Liang Bua individual to have lived between 60 & 90 ka. Her much older cousins in Flores lived 700 ka. This long reign testifies to the success of this tiny human species, no matter how small-statured & small-brained they were. [link]

Website: F. Mansfield, 2015

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