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Originally posted by AzoriaCorp
I finished watching the movie Waterworld recently and I began to wonder if it is possible for humans to adapt to a water only enviroment and develop gills. Some scientists believe humans already had gills. That we merely adapted away from gills and they "internalized"
Here is an interesting article on that research.
Anyone have any ideas or opinions on the subject?
He was brought onboard seaQuest through an inmate release program after volunteering to have working gills surgically attached to him.
Early on the embryo develops gill slits (more correctly called pharyngeal arches) in its neck. In a human, the first gill bar (which supports the pharyngeal arch) develops into the lower jaw as well as the ear bones (malleus and the stapes). The gill slits will then close, leaving just one open for the development of the ear opening
parathyroid glands, which regulate the level of calcium in the blood, probably evolved from the gills of fish
If the gill-like slits did remain, the fetus would probably be naturally aborted at a very young embryonic stage. The complex feedback system of embryo development requires a successful step by step process. The human genome project will probably address this or other past characteristics eventually
Originally posted by Maxmars
My uneducated opinion is that it couldn't be possible unless the human (meaning mammalian, warm-blooded) metabolic functioning changes radically.
Unless the efficiency of gills changes along with the physical affectation, could it support 'normal' activities; or would we need to actually live full-time in the water?
The Waterworld movie seemed to show that the lead character could swim about and get enough oxygen to do whatever he wanted even at significant (implied) depth. I find it hard to accept that those two little slits could provide enough gas exchange to do this.... but then, he was no longer really 'human' and it was science fiction.
[edit on 14-4-2010 by Maxmars]