Re: Aquatic Ape (was Cursorial Hunters)
Mon, 21 Jul 1997 20:28:50 -0400 (EDT)

In a message dated 7/21/97 5:05:36 PM, (Michael Lorrey)

>Eric, here's a research idea: test infant apes for native aquatic

It's been done. Blorp, blorp, blorp. We're the only ape with any native
ability to swim.

>Its my suspicion that its just something developed as a womb
>survival insitinct, and that any feral apes capable of diving are
>quickly eaten by crocodiles or watersnakes, which would certainly induce
>a rather high pucker factor against swimming for ones fellows. This croc
>free req for aquatic ape habitat would in my mind either point to likely
>places to find such ape fossils, or disprove the theory.

Crocodiles are a major obstacles, but perhaps not insurmountable if the
aquatic phase was relatively late and they had spears. In any case, there's
always the seashore. Something with hands and rocks almost has a ready-made
niche with shellfish there. I would think transient lakes in the Sahara (one
that shows up for a few thousand years under appropriate climactic
conditions) might also be free of crocodiles. (anybody here know?)

Unfortunately even if we could be sure of, say, a coastal origin, the coast
of Africa is still a fairly big place. Worse, sea level has varied a lot
too; so the target area would be thousands of miles long by a hundred wide.
Rather big. Even if we narrow it down to East Africa it's *still* big.