Aquatic Ape Theory

Did human beings evolved from tree dwelling apes or from aquatic apes?
This is a good read and explanation of the theory by Alistair Hardy who explains how the modern day humans are more closely related to aquatic creatures than land dwellers.

Also you can listen to this radio program on BBC supporting the theory.

street, Bengaluru South, Karnataka, India

15 replies on “Aquatic Ape Theory”

Hi, my name is Jim Moore, and I’ve studied the evidence offered for the aquatic ape theory for over a decade, and have a site critiquing it. While I certainly understand the appeal of the idea, I’ve found it to be chock full of errors of various sorts in all its various forms.

I’ve been doing this checking for 10 years now and have had a version of my site up since 1996. My site has been used as a reference by The Straight Dope (22 Jan 2002) and The Fortean Times (Oct 2003), as well as the Talk Origins Archive and several college courses — plus of course just plain folks interested in facts. I’ve also recently written an entry about it in the Sage Encyclopedia of Anthropology (which is unfortunately so expensive I can’t buy one. :))

The site is Aquatic Ape Theory: Sink or Swim?

The BBC Radio 4 done by David Attenborough (who is usually pretty good) was unfortunately riddled with errors; I have a critique on that as well.

thanks for the link.. and welcome to ENagar 🙂

I read this theory only a couple of days ago and I found some of the points it raised as very interesting…
but then just like any other alternative theory its has its own loop holes… that is why it is not the main line theory… but it is definitely an interesting read… i will go through your sites tomorrow morning 🙂 and i am sure it will make a good food for thought 🙂

Jim Moore’s site (comment 3) is a bunch of outdated comments & misrepresentations of AAT. The man apparently has no insight in what he’s talking about: AAT, the waterside theory of human evolution, says that after the human/chimp split c.5 Ma, the lineage leading to us was a lot more dependent on water than the chimp lineage. The general view is clear (human relatives/ancestors along African & Indian Ocean shores (eg, reaching Java & Flores) & venturing inland along rivers etc.), but the details are still discussed. For a recent view, please google “aquarboreal” or have a look at

Undoubtably, humans are the most aquatic of the anthropoids.
I can’t think of any other primate species that dives 5+ meters or even 80+ meters deep into ocean water (without wearing a swim mask or fins or scuba) while breath-holding.

Btw, a youtube video (a bit silly) about how to wear a sari was done by kittykattykoo, a student in Japan, who had been asked many times how it was worn. You might google it. However I know nothing about such things, I’m more interested in when humans first made cloth, perhaps 25,000 years ago or more.

Welcome guys to ENagar 🙂

thanks will check.

yes will check aquarboreal

many mammal species (even camel which would normally never witness water bodies) can swim… so i do not think its a unique trait…
but very few mammals can give birth underwater (and humans can)… but then the theory has several loopholes that needs to be fixed.
thanks for the saree video idea… i will update my saree post with it 🙂

I am a biologist and I was very interested in the AAT. I even bought Marc Verhaegen’s book about it. And then I got very disappointed. The theory has so many flows, you better forget all about it. Jim Moore is right. He did quite some investigating and his comments are sane. Sorry for mr. Verhaegen (and mrs. Morgan), but scientifically and logically the AAT is not very convincing. But I’am still very fond of swimming.

Welcome to ENagar… 🙂 I agree that on first glance the theory looks very exciting, but then as u said it is not able to withstand logical and scientific scrutiny…. after all that is why it is not the main stream theory. 🙂

but who knows maybe some day we will find a missing link that has fins and gills… and the entire course of human history would look totally different.

After 5 years… for recent publications on the littoral theory (coastal & riverside dispersal of Pleistocene Homo), contact me, or google, eg,
-Laden Verhaegen
-Rhys Evans Vaneechoutte
-econiche Homo
and read in Human Evolution the Contributions from the Symposium held in London on 8-10th May 2013 “Human Evolution: Past, Present & Future”:
-SPECIAL EDITION PART 1 (end 2013) contributions of P.Rhys-Evans, S.Oppenheimer, J.Langdon, S.Munro, A.Kuliukas,M.Verhaegen,L.Broadhurst & M.Crawford
-SPECIAL EDITION PART 2 (begin 2014) with 12 more contributions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *