3

votes

Paleo and the Aquatic Ape-ists: Do you consider it?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created January 29, 2011 at 11:44 PM

There's been some chatter about this recently, and I was wondering... If the evidence is strong enough, would you be convinced to try a primarily seafood and fish based paleo diet? Most of the emphasis is currently placed on ruminant animals, but if we are better suited toward a diet more rich in sea-life, would it not be preferable to emphasize this? I know reenactment is an unpopular idea here, but aren't most of the dietary hypotheses we hold based largely on the diets of our ancestors? Would this not change the idea that a paleo diet is ruminant-dominant?

E4faef53346e45f644ef905ab99ccb28

(83)

on April 22, 2012
at 05:59 PM

lol @ CHEETAH DON'T SURF! Pesco-paleo is certainly possible - take Mark Sisson's wife as an example.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on April 06, 2012
at 01:21 PM

Fish... Yuck...

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on April 05, 2012
at 11:42 PM

VERY NICE!!!!!!

8ff5d774011bf553e303aea414fd0972

(0)

on February 06, 2011
at 07:57 AM

Beware that there are various logical flaws inside this web site, although it try to be authoritative.

8ff5d774011bf553e303aea414fd0972

(0)

on February 06, 2011
at 07:54 AM

You can call Elaine Morgan pseudoscience (or I would prefer "proto-science" or "pop science"), but the works by Stephen Cunnane etc is real science supported by hard evidences. He proposes a shore-based diet rich in "brain selective nutrients" like DHA, iodine, iron, copper, selenium that are essential to brain development, especially in babies. You cannot find enough of these nutrients in terrestrial diet like meat and plants (that's why we have legislation to add iodine to table salt). See his book "Survival of the Fattest"

Medium avatar

(39831)

on January 31, 2011
at 06:31 PM

This is principally why I don't fully buy into it and won't exceed about a pound a week of fish. Also, keep in mind that we're probably 1-2 million years away from that lifestyle.

9e7039b63b656582f66d84c5255b436d

(1132)

on January 31, 2011
at 04:59 PM

I personally try to include some non fish-farmed fish in my diet and clams etc... I also eat shrimps and crabs, not because they are sea food, but because that's as close to eating an insects as I am happy to go.

B289fd8670257e77badb0c77709f8572

(10)

on January 30, 2011
at 04:17 PM

I think we would have eaten anything that was both readily available and nutrient rich. I discount much in the way of vegetation for this reason--starchy tubers and roots being the exception here. A stroll to the river for some mollusks/fish would be an easy meal, too easy perhaps. I don't see many clams in the cave art of the past. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midden#Shell_middens

E1fd3a5ea90cdbceb8a2aa4bcfa1b923

(474)

on January 30, 2011
at 04:52 AM

You can't get very far in studying human evolution without Elaine Morgan coming up. She has some interesting ideas, but the science just isn't there to support her hypothesis. She makes several claims in the TED talk that can easily by shown to be false. Google "obese ape" and "talking chimpanzee" when you get a chance. I would be interested to know which of the "many prominent evolutionary biologists" support her hypothesis. Again, pseudoscience.

721c2ae7c48630f3c7578a62773b8276

(500)

on January 30, 2011
at 04:20 AM

I'm curious, have you seen this? It's been passed around a bunch recently. At the very least I think it should change the pseudoscience classification, especially as many prominent evolutionary biologists are supporting the theory. :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwPoM7lGYHw

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on January 30, 2011
at 01:11 AM

Also it's expensive. Even more so than grassfed beef.

  • 721c2ae7c48630f3c7578a62773b8276

    asked by

    (500)
  • Views
    4.2K
  • Last Activity
    1261D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

12 Answers

5
75d8240448cdde7af3bc385ecdb91946

on October 01, 2011
at 03:55 PM

AAT is an unfortunate term: it's not about apes or australopiths (only about Homo), and it's not about having been aquatic (a better term IMO is "littoral"). But whatever its name, the Hardy-Morgan theory is correct: Pleistocene Homo populations dispersed along coasts and rivers, they even reached Flores before ~800 ka, and AFAIK all archaic Homo fossils have been found next to edible shellfish (work of J.Joordens, of S.Munro & others), from Dmanisi & Mojokerto to the Cape, Boxgrove & Eritrea, from at least 1.8 Ma until 125 ka. Anti-AAT people only attack their own idea of what they believe AAT is (eg, some sort of dolphin-like ancestry). Their "critiques" are nearly invariably irrelevant, misunderstanding, misrepresenting, obsolete, not essential (attacking possible sub-hypotheses), irrealistic &/or illogical ("crocodiles would have killed aquatic apes"). Nowadays we discern 2 theories: - the littoral theory of Homo (AAT s.s.): Pleistocene diaspora of human ancestors along coasts & rivers, beach-combing, wading & diving for waterside & aquatic foods, - the aquarboreal theory of apes: Mio-Pliocene hominoid adaptations (eg, vertical branch-hanging, floating & wading) in flooded forests (mangrove, gallery, swamp forests). For up-to-date insights, please - google "econiche Homo" on our Pleistocene evolution, - google "aquarboreal" on ape evolution, - read "Was Man More Aquatic in the Past? Fifty Years after Alister Hardy: Waterside Hypotheses of Human Evolution" M.Vaneechoutte, A.Kuliukas & M.Verhaegen eds 2011 forthcoming ebook Bentham Sci.Publ. + contributions of Elaine Morgan, Phillip Tobias, Michel Odent, Anna Gisl??n etc., - or see our recent paper "Pachyosteosclerosis suggests archaic Homo frequently collected sessile littoral foods" HOMO J.compar.hum.Biol.62:237-247, 2011. Marc Verhaegen http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/AAT

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on April 05, 2012
at 11:42 PM

VERY NICE!!!!!!

3
39cad97479239e355d5f0737f18a4226

on April 05, 2012
at 11:03 PM

I think there is something to the theory that a portion of human evolution took place in semi-aquatic conditions. Humans take to the water very easily, are relatively hairless, and can digest fish and shellfish raw. And, CHEETAH DON'T SURF.

That's why I'm a pesco-palean!

E4faef53346e45f644ef905ab99ccb28

(83)

on April 22, 2012
at 05:59 PM

lol @ CHEETAH DON'T SURF! Pesco-paleo is certainly possible - take Mark Sisson's wife as an example.

2
1471beca8e3adff4ae2f89d10e5f7acb

on January 31, 2011
at 04:35 PM

For an interesting and perhaps more scientifically rigorous explanation on how the ocean and seafood influenced human evolution, I found "When the Sea Saved Humanity" in last July's Scientific American to be really good (note: link goes to interactive presentation with sound).

We may not have been aquatic apes, but we owe a great debt to the sea regardless.

2
9e7039b63b656582f66d84c5255b436d

(1132)

on January 31, 2011
at 04:19 PM

Desmond Morris talks about this in this video. In his book "the naked ape" he suggests that when we first split off from our common ancestor with the chimpanzee we would have been eating berries and insects; There is a gap in the fossil record at between 3-7 million years ago. It seems a logical explanation that for some period during that time we spent time at the water's edge and began adapting to that environment. So perhaps rather than eating fish and deep sea foods, eating marine mollusca, that previously had few predators. It's only in the past 2-3 million years with the rise of communication, use of tools and the control of fire, that we could possibly have hunted larger animals of the savannah. Our jaws simply aren't designed to deal with tougher meats without the aid of cooking or cutting them with tools. Elaine Morgan is the main proponent of the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis, here is her heart felt talk on TED.

9e7039b63b656582f66d84c5255b436d

(1132)

on January 31, 2011
at 04:59 PM

I personally try to include some non fish-farmed fish in my diet and clams etc... I also eat shrimps and crabs, not because they are sea food, but because that's as close to eating an insects as I am happy to go.

2
1cbb6b2a813475d6c0b17fd5e898dc50

on January 30, 2011
at 12:11 AM

I don't think I understand, our ancestors probably ate both. Fresh caught fish is amazing food but most farm raised fish is just as bad if not worse than factory farmed cows. In the summer I eat A TON of freshly caught catfish (because I'm a skilled fisherman). :) In the winter I prefer to not freeze to death hovering over little holes drilled in the ice!

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 06, 2012
at 07:58 AM

Paleo and the Aquatic Ape-ists: Do you consider it?

I have thought about it and I saw the Desmond Morris video a while back and thought it very interesting but I don't consider it when selecting food for myself. I used to eat a lot of fish before going paleo but now I only (reluctantly) have a taste of it if my wife has some when we are at a restaurant. I was wondering why I used to like it but don't like it now? I realised that I like fish with potatoes but as I don't eat potatoes anymore, I don't eat fish with potatoes so thereore I don't like fish.

I have also thought about the omega 3 thing but I'm led to believe that most of the fish rich in omega 3, live in the seas in the colder parts of the planet or cold, deep water. (Please correct me if I'm wrong?). I'm thinking that if there was an aquatic ape, then wouldn't these apes have lived in Africa and been far away from the omega 3 rich fish? I know that tuna are a good source of omega 3 but I'm having trouble imagining an aquatic ape type of creature swimming out to deep waters to catch them. lol

1
89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on January 31, 2011
at 06:29 PM

For a very good critical review of the aquatic ape hypothesis, see this good website.

And read the link from cynarin.

8ff5d774011bf553e303aea414fd0972

(0)

on February 06, 2011
at 07:57 AM

Beware that there are various logical flaws inside this web site, although it try to be authoritative.

1
Fd504de9b242f4cd7009db70af5e2121

(558)

on January 30, 2011
at 03:36 PM

fish aint what it used to be...maybe if you live on an island in the south pacific or Alaska with fresh,clean sea food it would work

1
E1fd3a5ea90cdbceb8a2aa4bcfa1b923

(474)

on January 30, 2011
at 02:55 AM

If the evidence was there, I would certainly up my seafood intake. Fortunately the evidence is not there. There is however an overwhelming amount of evidence that our ancestors consumed large ruminants for most of the recent past. There seems to be a lot of speculation and plain old pseudoscience in the paleo community lately. I put the aquatic ape theory right alongside UFOs, homeopathy, and astrology.

721c2ae7c48630f3c7578a62773b8276

(500)

on January 30, 2011
at 04:20 AM

I'm curious, have you seen this? It's been passed around a bunch recently. At the very least I think it should change the pseudoscience classification, especially as many prominent evolutionary biologists are supporting the theory. :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwPoM7lGYHw

E1fd3a5ea90cdbceb8a2aa4bcfa1b923

(474)

on January 30, 2011
at 04:52 AM

You can't get very far in studying human evolution without Elaine Morgan coming up. She has some interesting ideas, but the science just isn't there to support her hypothesis. She makes several claims in the TED talk that can easily by shown to be false. Google "obese ape" and "talking chimpanzee" when you get a chance. I would be interested to know which of the "many prominent evolutionary biologists" support her hypothesis. Again, pseudoscience.

8ff5d774011bf553e303aea414fd0972

(0)

on February 06, 2011
at 07:54 AM

You can call Elaine Morgan pseudoscience (or I would prefer "proto-science" or "pop science"), but the works by Stephen Cunnane etc is real science supported by hard evidences. He proposes a shore-based diet rich in "brain selective nutrients" like DHA, iodine, iron, copper, selenium that are essential to brain development, especially in babies. You cannot find enough of these nutrients in terrestrial diet like meat and plants (that's why we have legislation to add iodine to table salt). See his book "Survival of the Fattest"

1
Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on January 30, 2011
at 12:04 AM

my husband is a pescatarian and wanted to do a paleo month with me, but was unwilling to eat meat. this is essentially what he did- a ton of fish, fat, eggs and vegetables. he did have some dairy and some fruit. it was REALLY hard. he got very sick of fish, very quickly, and didnt make it a whole 30 days before he was getting frustrated and edgy. and, we live on cape ann with endless year round access to all kinds of fresh fish. i cant imagine how hard it might be for someone living without access to fresh seafood.

he has about five more days left, but has already started to incorporate some beans, lentils and gluten-free grains into his diet. he started out pretty committed and dedicated, thinking that if the 30 went well, that he would make it a permanent change. thats just him, of course, and he didnt notice a huge difference in the way he felt and didnt lose any weight (he has like an extra ten pounds he would like to see go, but nothing major) so thats kind of a disincentive, too.

0
Ef9f83cb4e1826261a44c173f733789e

on January 30, 2011
at 12:43 AM

Just to experiment, I would try a seafood based diet if the food was readily available, fresh, and affordable. I would love to at least be 1/2 seafood and 1/2 landfood (is that what it's called?). The only wild-caught fish available to me is frozen (and expensive) or canned.

0
Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on January 30, 2011
at 12:32 AM

Too much omega 3 seems to be a problem, so for that reason I probably wouldn't consider it. It strongly inhibits clotting, so too much can cause excess bleeding. Omega 3 is highly oxidizable as well.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on January 30, 2011
at 01:11 AM

Also it's expensive. Even more so than grassfed beef.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on January 31, 2011
at 06:31 PM

This is principally why I don't fully buy into it and won't exceed about a pound a week of fish. Also, keep in mind that we're probably 1-2 million years away from that lifestyle.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!