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Titre du Document
Human's Association with Water Bodies: The 'Exaggerated Diving Reflex' and its Relationship with the Evolutionary Allometry of Human Pelvic and Brain Sizes
Le lien entre l'Homme et les étendues d'eau : le réflexe de plongée excessif et sa relation avec l'allométrie évolutive du pelvis humain et la taille du cerveau
Les contributions du colloque «Evolution humaine: passé, présent et futur», Londres, 8-10 mai 2013
As Darwin suggested, humans first evolved in Africa, then quickly spread out. Occupation sites from the Palaeolithic to the present show a niche preference for proximity to water bodies, rivers, lakes and sea coasts. From 165 KYA there is clear evidence for shellfish use, with characteristic shell middens in littoral zones. Genetic phylo-geography for Anatomically Modern Humans (AMH) indicates there was a single definitive exit from near the Horn Africa about 70 KYA, moving, with extraordinary rapidity, along coastlines around the Indian Ocean to Bali, later to China and the Americas. They crossed the sea to New Guinea and Australia by 50 KYA. Although AMH were not the first humans to cross Wallace's Line, they were the first to make open-sea voyages of over 100 miles. Why are anatomically modem humans associated with water bodies? Is it to do with their daily need for fresh drinking water? Is there any special significance to their exploitation of the food they find there, or is it just making the best of their niche? What aspect of their past evolution explains their 'exaggerated mammalian diving reflex'? How is it connected with water? The pan-vertebrate reflex cardio-vascular response to extreme hypoxia has long been acknowledged as essential protection in terrestrial vertebrates against the risk of perinatal asphyxia as their milieu changes from aqueous to air. In spite of this role, 28% of annual worldwide human perinatal mortality still results from perinatal asphyxia.
Type du document
Conférence : 'Human Evolution: Past, Present and Future' Symposium, London, GBR, 2013-05-08
ISSN : 0393-9375
Human evolution A. 2013, vol. 28, n° 3-4, pp. 137-170 [34 pages] [bibl. : 4 p.1/4]
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