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Re: Did human beings ev olve in the sea?



I don't think anyone is now claiming that humans evolved in the sea.
What is claimed--this is Elaine Morgan's "aquatic ape" theory--is
that we spent a stage of our evolution as a littoral animal, living
near the water's edge, catching fish and picking up shellfish. This
is hypothesized to have happened about 4 to 8 million years ago, a
period for which hominid fossils are extremely scant. Much of Morgan's
reasoning is based on features that don't fossilize well--the thinness
of human hair, the odd fold of skin between thumb and forefinger,
the amount of subcutaneous fat, and how readily infants take to the
water--but she does predict that, if her theory is true, hominid
fossils will be found in a particular area of East Africa. As far
as I know, nobody has yet gone digging there to check this claim.
I apologize for the geographical vagueness, but I'm doing this from
memory. See _The Descent of Woman_ by Elaine Morgan, and I think
there's a Web page on this somewhere.

Vicki Rosenzweig
vr%acmcr.uucp@murphy.com
New York, NY