Could the introduction of algae into the diet of early animal man have had a dramatic impact in our evolution? The theories below are thought provoking and if you have an opinion why not leave a comment below…
Early Animal Man – Dry or Wetland Creature?
What’s your impression of early humans? Do you picture them making their home on grasslands, hunting down prey with sticks and spears? Some believe humans actually started their evolution somewhere a little less dry…
First proposed back in 1960 by Sir Alister Hardy, the ‘aquatic ape’ theory suggests that our human ancestors lived in aquatic habitats such as creeks and sea shores, rather than the savannah lands as is the current consensus.
To keep our heads above the surface while wading through rivers and sea waters, we developed our bipedal stance, and we lost our fur in favour of a layer of blubber-like fat, which would keep our bodies warm while submerged in water.
It’s argued that human sinuses – particularly large among animal species – provided buoyancy aids to further help us keep our heads from slipping under the water’s edge.
The Reason Early Humans Began Eating Algae
The aquatic ape theory may also explain why humans have much larger brains than our fellow apes. At some point in our evolution, humans developed much larger brains than those of primates, and if the aquatic ape theory is true, Omega 3 may have been pivotal in our rise to become the dominant species.
Dolphins have larger brains than land-dwelling mammals, and it’s believed this is because of their diet. Since they live on seafood, dolphins consume a large amount of DHA, the Omega 3 fatty acid which boosts brain growth.
Similarly, the aquatic ape theorises that early humans also had a DHA-rich diet of seafood, including algae (the source of the DHA in Nuique tablets!). It’s this diet which is responsible for the larger brains of modern man and woman.
As larger brains require more energy than typical muscle, our ancestors would have had to trade muscle mass for brain power. This would have made preying on animals rather difficult – as well as weak strength, our underdeveloped senses would have been unable to compete with other predators.
Instead, early hominids may have dined on the algae present in the wetlands – much easier and far less dangerous than hunting for animals! The algae would have provided humans with a sweet/umami taste which was not present in land-based foods – hence, our sweet tooth would have had us coming back for more!
As our brains and senses developed, humans would have moved on to eating aquatic plants, catching fish and breaking open crustaceans with tools – these would have provided even more DHA, as these aquatic creatures live on the algae themselves!
Is It Just A Theory?
Many critics are sceptical of this theory, arguing that our ‘aquatic’ features – bipedalism, lack of fur etc – actually would have arrived at separate points in our evolution. Additionally, water-habiting humans would have had to face predators such as crocodiles, as well as sidestep the risk of drowning. But it’s nevertheless an interesting theory which may, someday, become the consensus on early human life.
To find out more about Nuique’s algae products, and how they can help you, visit our FAQ and Advice section