- Aquatic apes evolved to live in water – new theory
- Documentary claims ‘radical strand to human evolution’
by Rob Waugh
PUBLISHED: 09:27 EST, 23 May 2012 | UPDATED: 09:49 EST, 23 May 2012
Sightings of mermaids are often ascribed to sea-weary mariners mistaking large animls such as manatees for the mythical creatures.
But a new theory suggests they might have seen ‘sea apes’ instead.
A separate strand of primates evolved to live in the sea, according to a new documentary – and sightings of the ‘sea apes’ were described as mermaids.
‘It’s a very radical theory on human evolution, but we have approached an age-old myth and really chased its origins,’ Animal Planet’s Charlie Foley told Fox News.
A separate strand of primates evolved to live in the sea, according to a new documentary – and sightings of the ‘sea apes’ were described as mermaids
‘It has been compiled in a way that is very compelling, making us think that mermaids might not just be mythical creatures.’
The ‘aquatic ape’ theory – that a separate strand of primates evolved to live in the sea is often dismissed as pseudoscience.
Early hominins certainly lived near the sea – and were sailing surprisingly early.
Stone Neanderthal tools dating back at least 100,000 years have been found on the Greek mainland and on the Greek islands of Lefkada, Kefalonia and Zakynthos, which means they must have been travelling in boats.
Fox’s new documentary argues that as apes evolved into ‘pre-human’ hominins, some evolved to live in water.
This strand died out, but for a time, there were aquatic ape-like creatures.
Myths of mermaids (this picture shows a statue in Copenhagen) might have been inspired by a forgotten species of aquatic ape
‘There are striking differences between us and other primates, yet many features we share with marine mammals, like the webbing between our fingers, which other primates don’t have, a layer of subcutaneous fat, and a loss of body hair,’ says Foley.
‘We also have an instinctive ability to swim, and control over breath. Humans can hold breath up to 20 minutes, longer than any other terrestrial animal.’
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