We have more in common with whales than zebras

by Angela Cockayne



Flippers, Pewter, Crayfish and Wool.

10,000 years of “civilisation” cannot offset several million years of evolution and hunter-gathering, perhaps we now live a life that is, in many ways, at odds with our genetic inheritance.

The call of the ocean has dominated much of my life, new scientific evidence suggests our hunter gathering, fishing, seafood craving and water gazing love of the ocean,  may be explained beyond a mere ‘yearning’ for the ocean. Evidence found suggests our early ancestors may have lived a semi-aquatic life in our evolutionary past and we have evolved from an aquatic ape. Archeologists have recently discovered fossil evidence to prove this theory known as the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis(AAH).

When people spend long periods of time in the water e.g. surfers a condition develops where a flap of skin forms to protect the inner ear from water known as ‘Surfers ear,’ evidence of this has recently been found in Neanderthal skulls. This and evidence of marine diets found in the archaeological sites of Homo Erectus may explain how our big brain developed through a shoreline diet and the adaptations required for a life aquatic . Scientists are now acknowledging that our bipedalism may also be associated with a semi-aquatic life rather than the Savanna Theory previously upheld.


Other conflicting factors that may suggest we may not have been designed to suit the Savanna Theory of a fomer existence  as once thought;

  • The development of a large brain like cetacean, undeniably is the main attribute to our success, evidence suggests development of a large brain requires iodine, magnesium, elements found in a shoreline diet of fish and shellfish.
  • (Dolphin 1.8kg                           Zebra 370 g                         Einstein 1.8kg)
  • Vernix a fatty substance on babies at birth also found on seal pups.
  • Babies have an innate ability to control their breathing and can swim underwater from birth and be born in water.
  • Fat babies enable buoyancy, a fat layer would restrict mobility and be a disadvantage in mobility re predation on land.
  • Permanent conspicuous breasts in females help buoyancy re carrying feeding off spring.
  • Difficult births and vaginal prolapses.
  • Sea births in coastal communities (prior to missionaries) children can dive and swim before they can walk.
  • Dive, Swim, float, wide shoulders for swimming.
  • Prone to dehydration, need regular water source.
  • Conscious control of breath found in diving animals and birds.
  • K species predictable environment, slow breeding immature dependent babies like whales and elephants.
  • Big nose but poor smell? Nostrils point down unlike other primates.
  • Bipedalism evolved before a large brain, advantage standing in water to consume a diet, which encourages brain growth.
  • Streamline hydrodynamic bodies, even fine hairs (more per square cm than a chimpanzee) are aligned to be streamline, apes are not.
  • No Fur like other Savanna mammals  ‘hairless’ more vulnerable to heat and temperature regulation.
  • Higher percentage of hemoglobin per cell than primates enables more oxygen for underwater breathing.
  • Bi-pedal,  primates only stand to walk through water.
  • Language, descended larynx like the walrus.
  • Man has comparatively poor location for a land mammal, slow and awkward an ostrich can run faster, easily caught by predatory species.
  • Sweat more than any Savanna mammal.
  • Primates have no body fat, limited language, they cannot voluntarily breathe, they have no vernix layer at birth.
  • Vestigial gills found in humans may be considered a birth defect but indicates a potential for development.
  • Darwin point on ear lobe suggest that a flap of skin could have been hinged to protect ears under water.
  • Coccyx suggests we may have at sometime in our past had a tail
  • Appendix related to the diet of a herbivore.