Re: EVOLUTION: The Aquatic Ape

James Rogers (
Fri, 17 Jan 1997 15:57:52 -0800

At 01:31 PM 1/17/97 -0800, Eric Watt Forste wrote:
>I have read somewhere that the diving reflex is the automatic
>lowering of the rate of cellular oxygen consumption upon immersion
>in water. Because this is a metabolic reflex in the cytoplasm of
>the cells, it cannot be learned behavior, but must be genetic in
>origin. Many aquatic mammals have this metabolic reflex, but only one
>primate displays anything like this behavior: Homo sapiens. Or at least
>that's what I've read. I had the impression that this was one of the key
>pieces of evidence for a primarily aquatic environment for one of the
>ancestor clades of Homo sapiens, the other one being the fact that the
>pattern of (vestigial) body hair on human beings is designed for water
>flow and rapid draining and drying. This pattern is completely unlike
>the pattern of body hair growth observed in all other primate species.
>I'm sorry I don't have bibliographic references for this; as a result, I
>have to prevent this as mere hearsay, but if anyone has any further
>information supporting or confuting these assertions, I'd be very
>interested in hearing about it.

I watched a show on the Discover Channel a few monthes ago that supported
all of the above statements. They actually had a pretty long list of
aquatic adaptation features found only in humans. Physical features such as
the webbing between human fingers and toes, which does not show up in other

-James Rogers