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

Current Aquatic Evolution Theories


Alternative theories of human evolution

Wikipedia and the scientific community

. Anatomical Evidence
... Bipedalism
... Birth and babies
... Brain
... Breath control
... Fat
... Fingers, toes and feet
... Furlessness
... Hair and baldness
... Kidneys
... Menopause
... Nose
... Olfactory sense
... Pachyostosis
... Paranasal Sinuses
... Platycephaly
... Sexual features
... Surfer's ear
... Sweating
... Tears
... Underwater vision

. Diet
. Language & Song
. Sleep (USWS)
. Waterside environments
. Sea Gypsies

. Homo erectus - shallow diver

. Fossil evidence
. Paleoecological evidence

A call to scientists...

Recent News and Updates

Books and publications

Videos links



Books, papers and publications

Westenhöfer, Max (1942). Der Eigenweg des Menschen: dargestellt auf Grund von vergleichend morphologischen Untersuchungen über die Artbildung und Menschwerdung. Berlin: Die Medizinische Welt. "The unique path of man, depicted on the basis of comparative morphological studies on the formation of species and the origin of humanity"

Books by Elaine Morgan

Other Books

"Was Man More Aquatic in the Past? Fifty Years After Alistair Hardy. Waterside Hypothoses of Human Evolution"
Edited by Mario Vaneechoutte, Algis Kuliukas, Marc Verhaegen

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 Alister Hardy tried to answer this when he announced his so-called aquatic hypothesis: human ancestors did not live in dry savannahs as traditional anthropology assumes, but have adapted to live at the edge between land and water, gathering both terrestrial and aquatic foods.

This eBook is an up-to-date collection of the views of the most important protagonists of this long-neglected theory of human evolution at the 50th anniversary of its announcement in 1960. It brings together the views of leading scientists such as anthrolopogy professor Phillip Tobias, marine biologist Richard Ellis, waterbirth gynaecologist Michel Odent, nutritional biologist Michael Crawford and science writer Elaine Morgan.

Papers by Marc Verhaegen (et al)

  • Verhaegen, Marc (1985). The Aquatic Ape Theory: Evidence and a Possible Scenario. Medical Hypotheses Vol:16 Pages:17-32
  • Verhaegen, Marc (1988). Aquatic Ape Theory, Speech Origins: a hypothesis. Speculations in Science and Technology Vol:11 Pages:165-171
  • Verhaegen, Marc (1990). African Ape ancestry. Human Evolution Vol:5: Pages:295-297
  • Verhaegen, Marc (1991). Aquatic Features in Fossil Hominids?. In: Roede, Machteld; Wind, Jan; Patrick, John; Reynolds, Vernon (eds.), (1991). Aquatic Ape: Fact of Fiction: Proceedings from the Valkenburg Conference. Souvenir Press (London)
  • Verhaegen, Marc (1991). Human Regulation of Body Temperature and Water Balance. In: Roede, Machteld; Wind, Jan; Patrick, John; Reynolds, Vernon (eds.), (1991). Aquatic Ape: Fact of Fiction: Proceedings from the Valkenburg Conference. Souvenir Press (London)
  • Verhaegen, Marc (1992). Did Robust Australopithecines Partly Feed on Hard Parts of Graminae? Human Evolution Vol:7 Pages:63-64.
  • Verhaegen, Marc (1993). Aquatic versus Savannah: Comparative and Paleo-environmental Evidence. Nutrition and Health Vol:9 Pages:165-191
  • Verhaegen, Marc (1994). Australopithecines: Ancestors of the African Apes? Human Evolution Vol:9 Pages:121-139
  • Verhaegen, Marc (1995). Aquatic Ape Theory, Speech Origins, and Brain Differences with Apes and Monkeys. Medical Hypotheses Vol:44 Pages:409-413
  • Verhaegen, Marc (1996). Morphological Distance Between Australopithecine, Human and Ape Skulls. Human Evolution Vol:11 Pages:35-41.
  • Bender, Rebato; Verhaegen, Marc; Oser, Nicole (1997). Acquisition of human bipedal gait from the viewpoint of the aquatic ape theory. Anthropologischer Anzeiger Vol:55(1) Pages:1-14
  • Verhaegen, Marc; Munro, Stephen (2000). The Origin of Phonetic Abilities: A Study of the Comparative Data With Reference to the Aquatic Theory. ? Vol: Pages:1-12
  • Verhaegen, Marc, Puech, Pierre-Francoise (2000). Hominid lifestyle and diet reconsidered: paleo-environmental and comparative data. Human Evolution Vol:15 Pages:151-162
  • Verhaegen, Marc; Puech, Pierre-Francoise; Munro, Stephen (2002). Aquarboreal Ancestors? Trends in Ecology and Evolution Vol:17 Pages:212-217

Algis Kuliukas
April 2006

Articles and Chapters

2013 “Dunking the Tarzanists: Elaine Morgan and the Aquatic Ape Theory,” in Outsider Scientists: Routes to Innovation in Biology, ed. Oren Harman and Michael R. Dietrich (Chicago: University of Chicago Press), 223-247. [.pdf

2013 "Elaine Morgan Obituary," The Guardian  (July 29, 2013). [link]

2013 “Elaine Morgan and the Aquatic Ape,” guest blog post for Rebekah Higgitt and Vanessa Heggie's The H-Word, hosted by The Guardian  (May 13, 2013). [link]

Website: F. Mansfield, 2015

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