posted on Jun, 30 2010 @ 10:37 PM
I always wondered about the evolution of upright posture, lack of body hair, etc. in early hominids. School then taught that it was an adaptation for
the Savanna, etc. To me that seemed a bit off, and still didn't make enough sense the way it was explained.
But if you applied the evolution of those traits to people that lived primarily along rivers and lakes, then hominid features make a whole lot more
sense. Relatively broad and flat feet and upright posture for wading around waist deep in water and soft mud, more paddle like hands and feet with
slightly webbed fingers/toes for actual swimming, more alertness and intelligence to deal with killer crocs and hippos, down-turned nose for dunking
one's head under water, less hair and more body fat for being in water, etc. A long history of human settlements and an "instinctive affinity" to
be near water features...
Not to mention none of the other large primates species closest to us can swim worth a darn. Even the chimps which have taken to occasional hunting
will sink like a rock, so life in the water had to have a role in early human origins and human traits.
All that would go back to primate ancestors that started a fishing practice still in use by people today (noodling, which is catching fish by touch
and with bare hands). The practice would make sense especially in the drier seasons when the areas outward into the savanna away from the rivers would
have much less food available. Fish are high in protein and calories, and could provide a much richer diet for the effort than hunting and gathering
on land alone.
I think the hunting crocs and hippos as mentioned in the article would come in somewhat later development once effective tool making took off. That
would be a really big boost to the human diet and further evolution. But proto-humans had to be fishing long before that.
I think it's cool that some scientists have finally looked into this idea, hopefully they'll find much greater evidence of human origins and the
missing link between hominid and ape species.