Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Aquatic Theory Of Human Evolution

Controversial idea that humans evolved through a semi-aquatic phase; invoked to explain bipedalism, hairlessness, body fat distribution, genital anatomy, and the instinct for swimming exhibited at birth. Espoused by M. Westenhöfer in 1912, later promoted by A. C. Hardy and most recently by Welsh screenwriter Elaine Morgan; viewed with skepticism among evolutionary biologists. Aka aquatic ape hypothesis, river ape hypothesis.

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