Aquatic Ape Theory

Keith Robison robison at
Tue Mar 5 11:18:04 EST 1996

Scott D. Kocher (skocher at wrote:

:   Does anyone know about the Aquatic Ape Theory (AAT), which postulates
: that man descended from the apes only after undergoing a period of marine
: habitation?  The theory attempts to explain why humans have oily skin and
: very few hairs, are bipedal, produce tears, breath through the nose, and
: some other strange adaptations which are unusual for terrestrial mammals.
:   I came across the AAT home page on the Web, and was curious to know how
: legitimate this theory is for the rest of the scientific community.

Discussions of AAT show up periodically on any of the evolution-oriented
newsgroups (I understand Elaine Morgan, originator of the AAT, shows
up occasionally on some of them).  You might try a Usenet search at
AltaVista ( to find various replies.

I think the summary is that most professionals don't have a very positive
opinion of AAT.

Keith Robison
Harvard University
Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology
Department of Genetics 

robison at 

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