Primates are not very mobile. Here looking at typical monkey ranges

Allan Krill

Chimps are our closest relatives, and gorillas next closest. They live along the Atlantic Ocean, far from the Danakil highlands, the Red Sea, and the Indian Ocean. They have been living near the Atlantic Ocean and evolving in the places they are now for millions of years. 

Probably every species of primate (except human) has been where it now is for something like the past million years. Look at the geographic range of monkey species.  Here is a list of over 100 species of Old World Monkeys. 

You can click on any of the species names on that list, and see a map that shows the geographic range of that species. Here are the first 10:'s_Swamp_Monkey_area.png

And here are the geographic ranges of the great apes: chimpbonobogorilla, and orang.

These range sizes must be similar to the range of the primate that was the ancestor of humans (before acquiring the big brain that let our ancestor expand its range to many environments.) That primate probably inhabited a limited range with a single similar habitat, like these others. That range was probably near the chimps. 

Genetics shows that humans are closely related to chimps, and next closest to gorillas. It is not just genetics: the 4 taxa of chimp also look different.  See the table here: Appearance  

Conclusion: The Atlantic Ocean (not the Indian Ocean, Red Sea, or Mediterranean Sea or Tethys) is where the human ancestor got its big brain and then became cosmopolitan. 

Hypothesis of ape evolution, Miocene to present

Allan Krill

On Mon, Dec 14, 2020 at 04:25 AM, Marc Verhaegen wrote:
No, Allan: all hylobatids/pongids/hominids lived along the Ind.Ocean.
All hominoids incl.hominids split & dispersed along the Ind.Ocean->Rift (Gorilla) or ->S.Africa (Pan) or ->S.Asia (Homo).
Do you really believe chimp & gorilla ancestors separately flew from E.Africa to your Bioko, and then separately flew back to the Afr.continent??
Hi Marc
Thanks for asking. Here is my hypothesis.
I think that there were lots of ape species in the Miocene. They were not very mobile, and each had its limited range, like apes and monkeys do today. (Homo became the only mobile primate, and that was after it evolved its big brain on Bioko.) 

The timing of each Last Common Ancestor (LCA) of the living apes is uncertain. But if we use the numbers from
LCA Hylobate-Pongo 19.8
LCA Pongo-Gorilla 15.2
LCA Gorilla-Pan 8.6
LCA Pan-Homo 6.4

Here are possible paleogeographic ranges for each of those LCA. No species needed to wander any great distance or have a large range. The species evolved slightly within their range, sometimes splitting into subspecies. But a few individuals would occasionally get outside of the range. They were reproductively isolated from the original group, and evolved into a new species in the nearby area.  

All these ape habitats were rather similar. The selection pressures were similar. So the apes maintained their physical and anatomical similarities (phenotypes). Those apes were all more-or-less arboreal, none were aqua-arboreal. There were too many crocodiles for that. Some were more upright, more orthograde, more bipedal than others. None had bald bodies and sc fat. None had hooded nostrils. None had multi pyramidal kidneys. None had permanently descended larynxes. Etc. Jack has a long list of features that none of those pre-human primate species had. (If they had them, but lost them by convergent evolution, we should be finding "scars of evolution" to show that.)

Then a few chimps were forced to leave the trees. Just a few. They began to evolve in a completely different environment, with completely different selection pressures. That new habitat was not the African savannah (east of the chimps' forest) but was Bioko (west of the chimps' forest.) 

It is a very simple and logical hypothesis.

Why primate fossils are found in E.Africa, not in the Congo

Allan Krill

On Sun, Dec 13, 2020 at 11:37 AM, alandarwinvanarsdale wrote:
Fossils are concentrated in East Africa because that is where rocks are exposed of the right age to find them.
It is a myth that fossils are concentrated in East Africa because the rocks there are of the right age. Fossils are concentrated in E. Africa because mammal bones thre do not decay rapidly. 

The Congo Basin includes a huge area of rocks that are the right age for primate fossils: Quaternarny (white) and Cenozoic (yellow) on this map. That area is teeming with mammals, yet a mammal fossil has never been reported from there. 

And that is not because people are not looking. Poor and hungry people are digging and looking all the time in those sedimentary rock layers, trying to find diamonds and little nuggets of gold. The artisanal excavations are extensive.  A primate tooth would be worth its weight in gold. You can be sure that if there were fossil teeth there of any mammal, people would report them and get paid.

A proposed evolutionary tree of Gorilla-Pan-Homo speciation

Allan Krill

Here is a proposed evolutionary tree, showing how humans may have evolved directly from chimpanzees that became isolated on Bioko about 4 million years ago. It is modified from the image on Wikipedia. 

Homo erectus essentially had the same skeleton as the modern human, except that the brain size is less. In the Bioko model, H. erectus evolved its human features on Bioko, and then escaped to other places (Europe, East Africa, Java, China) where bones could be preserved as fossils. The brain was big enough for it to invent tools, shoes, and clothes, necessary for survival in places other than Bioko. 

There are no fossils of Gorilla or Pan where they evolved in central western Africa, because fossils are not possible there. However, three teeth of a chimpanzee and many H. erectus bones have been found in E. Africa, where climate was suitable for fossil preservation. E. Africa was not the place where H. erectus or chimpanzee evolved, but some managed to wander there and leave fossils. 
Chimps, gorillas, and all other primates are not very mobile, and keep to a single range and habitat. H. erectus and H. sapiens, with large brains, wandered far and wide, over the continents of Africa and Eurasia.

Evolutionary tree showing areas and habitats

Allan Krill

Speciation requires reproductive isolation, for which there can be many causes. Sometimes this is by physical separation, but there are many other possibilities. Gorillas and chimpanzees had an arboreal ancestor in the forests of central western Africa. But gorillas chose a different diet than chimpanzee, so they diverged within the same area. Here is an explanation, from p. 13 of the book: Chimpanzees and human evolution

The fundamental difference between chimpanzee and gorilla diets is that gorillas, because of their large bodies and guts, can subsist on much lower quality food. Both apes prefer to eat fruit when it is available. However, comparisons in the same forests show that, as fruit becomes rarer, gorillas fall back on increasing amounts of pith, leaves, and woody stems, while chimpanzees continue to search for higher-quality food (reviewed in Wrangham 2006; Harcourt and Stewart 2007a).

Here is another evolutionary tree, where I mention the areas and foods of speciation.

Re: Evolutionary tree showing areas and habitats

Allan Krill

Here is another evolutionary tree. 
The aquatic ape theory is very simple (parsimonious).
Like the evolution from arboreal to marine to land iguana on Galapagos.

Re: Evolutionary tree showing areas and habitats

Allan Krill

Here is another:

Re: Evolutionary tree showing areas and habitats

Allan Krill

Clothes and tools were needed before the human species could survive most places in the world.
Image where in Africa, or elsewhere in the world, a naked human family without tools could survive for a year? 
It was only the large brain that allowed the human body to function in most places. But I think a naked family could have survived on Bioko. 

Re: Evolutionary tree showing areas and habitats

Allan Krill

And here is one more.

Re: Evolutionary tree showing areas and habitats

Allan Krill

This evolutionary tree includes baboons. Both baboons and humans went from the trees to the ground. The baboon shows a normal evolution, whereas the human shows a weird evolution. I think that is like the ground-dwelling iguana on Galapagos. The tree-dwelling iguana rafted from South America to Galapagos, and was trapped there, with no trees to live in. It adopted a marine habitat, and its body changed dramatically like the human body changed. Then it became ground-dwelling, with a weird body that shows its earlier marine habitat. Read about this iguana on Wikipedia.

The earliest human footprints (Laetoli) occur in lake sediments that have been misinterpreted as datable volcanic ash

Allan Krill

Allan Krill's talk on Laetoli footprints at the 34th Geological Winter Meeting in Norway, 8. Jan. 2021

Allan Krill

This talk was given at the 34th Geological Winter Meeting (Jan. 6- 8, 2021). Organized and recorded by the Geological Society of Norway 
Here is the published abstract for the talk

The earliest human footprints (Laetoli) occur in lake sediments that have been misinterpreted as datable volcanic ash 

 Allan Krill

 Department of Geoscience, NTNU, Trondheim, krill@...

An alternative paradigm of human evolution is the “aquatic-ape hypothesis,” in which our ancestors evolved naked skin, long head-hair, large brain, bipedal gait, subcutaneous fat (blubber), descended larynx, hooded nose, and all other human features, during a period of semiaquatic habitat. This unorthodox theory has been ridiculed in paleoanthropology for 60 years, just as the “continental-drift hypothesis” was ridiculed in its time.

The current paradigm is that human ancestors evolved in the eastern African savanna and were bipedal as early as 3.5 Ma ago. I contend that this history is based on errors — falsifications such as Piltdown Man (e.g. Lucy, Turkana Boy, Little-Foot) — and geological misinterpretations (e.g. Laetoli). Humans may instead have evolved from chimpanzees that became isolated on Galapagos-like volcanic islands: proto-Bioko in western Africa, where fossils could not be preserved. No mammal fossils are known in any of the areas where chimpanzees speciated.

The human footprint track at Laetoli is said to be 3.5 Ma old. That age is probably wishful thinking, and the layer less than 200 000 years old. Calcareous sediments have been interpreted to be volcanic ash, in which K-feldspar and biotite dates give meaningful ages.

18 thin calcareous layers with mud cracks, raindrop marks, and footprint trails from hundreds of savanna animals (and even an insect), are interpreted to be fresh ashfall from 18 volcanic eruptions. The geology professor behind this interpretation thought that enough rain fell after each ashfall to dampen the ash so that it could preserve prints. There was not enough rain to wash the ash away from the flat, horizontal and grassless surface where the animals walked. I claim that this is an unreasonable geological interpretation.

The layers are calcareous, so it was thought that the ash was carbonatite from the Sadiman volcano. But ash of carbonatite is unknown in geology, and no carbonatite is found at Sadiman, or on the Laetoli-Serengeti Plain.

Thin-section photos and chemical analyses of these so-called ash layers have never been published. Mineral grains giving K-Ar dates of 3.5 Ma have been claimed to be the age of the layers and the footprints. Grains giving inappropriate dates were discarded.

To protect the footprints from vandalism, the layer was covered over by soil and blocks of rock, before the exciting results were published. This cover-up kept visiting geologists from suggesting that these were lake sediments that cannot be dated using detrital minerals. A lake-sediment hypothesis has never been mentioned.

I am hoping to publish a paper exposing these errors. You can read the manuscript, with pdf references, here:  See also


The story of human evolution may be based on fictional fossil evidence

Allan Krill

Manuscript in preparation. 
January 30, 2021

New ideas on the possible use and misuse of the Stone Age handaxe

Allan Krill

New ideas on the possible use and misuse of the Stone Age handaxe
Manuscript in preparation, February 12, 2021.


To err is humen, but to retract a published error is devine.

Allan Krill

Typo? No, that's an acceptible alternetive spelling!
Too bad more scientists aren't gods, as Phillip Tobias must have been.

The human primate body probably evolved due to a freak island accident

Allan Krill

The human primate body— bald and bipedal, with large brain, nose, and blubber — probably evolved due to a freak island accident. 

Imagine meeting a married couple in a nursing home. They are both in wheel chairs and have grotesque faces, skin, and hair, and are missing some body parts. You might imagine all sorts of medical explanations for their conditions. But the parsimonious explanation is that they were together in a car that crashed and burned. 

Such is probably the case with the human body. All the "grotesque" human features (compared to other primates) can be explained by a single freak accident where a few chimpanzees became isolated on a Galapagos-like island off the west coast of Africa. Their descendants lived on the shores of that island for millions of years, diving for shellfish and sea vegetables. Their main diet was an unlimited supply of sea-turtle eggs on the beaches around the 150-kilometer shoreline. With no predators, competitors, or African viruses on the island, they became a huge population that evolved the unique human traits. 

You can read about this unorthodox hypothesis for human evolution here: A Paradigm for the Evolution of Human Features: Apes Trapped on Barren Volcanic Islands.

The Parsimonious Human Body Factory (PaHuB factory) was probably located on Bioko Island

Allan Krill

Boeing airplanes have crashed a few places in the world during the past century. Before crashing, those planes may have been modified in different cities, giving them new seats and paint jobs. But the planes really evolved and were produced at the Boeing factory and airport in Seattle. It takes a dedicated location with all the right conditions and materials to produce a commercial airplane. 

To evolve a human body from a chimpanzee-like ancestor, it must have required special materials (especially marine omega-3 fatty acids for exceptional brain evolution) and safe, reproductively-isolated conditions over a long time span. Humans are unique primates: they are bipedal, have bald bodies, large brains, protruding noses, blubber, descended larynxes, multi-pyramidal kidneys, and many other unique features that can best be explained by semiaquatic evolution.

I think that human bodies only evolved on the shores of Bioko Island, and only over the past 6 million years or so. Read this published article for more details. Bioko is an isolated volcanic island, near the places in Africa where chimpanzees and gorillas evolved. None of them left a single fossil, because the ground is wet and warm. All the bones decayed. No mammal fossils of any kind are known from those places.

Bioko Island is 32 kilometers from mainland Africa. 
The first apes to accidentally raft from Africa to Bioko could not swim. Their descendants might have been isolated on the island for millions of years. Bioko Island probably had no large predators or African viruses for millions of years. Its 150 kilometer coastline probably had an enormous supply of omega-3-rich sea-turtle eggs, as it does today. 

Mainland Africa is visible from Bioko, and it is a swimmable distance for an aquatic ape. (The water is warm.) After evolving bodies on Bioko, some of the unique semiaquatic primates could have dispersed to mainland Africa and other continents. Their bodies were slightly modified in those places, and only a few crashed in ways that could leave fossils.

If Homo erectus really existed, it was probably a late-model (produced about 1.5 million years ago) that walked from Bioko to Africa when sea level was temporarily low, during one of the glacial maxima. Erectus had a big enough brain to invent the clothing, weapons, and tools that were needed to survive as a vulnerable naked ape in Africa. (Naked humans with no clothing, tools, weapons, or fire could easily survive on Bioko beaches today. There no large predators, most days are cloudy, and the nights are never cold. Sea-turtle eggs from the hundreds of nests on beaches would be the main diet.)

Erectus is thought to have dispersed widely, leaving bones and chipped stones in East Africa, Europe, Java, and China. Neanderthals and Denisovans are fully evolved humans. They probably also came from the same PaHuB factory, with some minor modifications elsewhere.

DNA provides a sort of serial number, that can be read on living chimpanzees and humans. It is now becoming possible to find some of these serial numbers on crash fragments (fossils.) It may eventually be possible to determine if humans actually evolved on Bioko Island. An example of such evidence would be if all living humans carry an endogenous retrovirus (ERV) that is otherwise only found in animals living on Bioko.

Where did the naked ape actually evolve?

Allan Krill

Manuscript in preparation. 
March 1, 2021

Anthropogeny. Inferring a two-step origin of the naked ape

Allan Krill

Manuscript in preparation.
March 9, 2021.

A volcanic-island model for the origin of the seal and other marine mammals

Allan Krill

From genetic evidence it is thought that the first seals evolved about 23 million years ago, near the beginning of the Miocene epoch. A simple model for the evolution of seals is that mammals resembling dogs, bears, and weasels accidentally rafted to oceanic volcanic islands that eventually sank out of sight. 

Erosion acts on rocks that are exposed above sea level. After the last active volcano of an oceanic island becomes extinct, erosion can remove the mountain and reduce it to a low flat-topped island. Erosion mostly stops at sea-level, but subsidence continues. Cooling and contraction of the mantle beneath the ocean floor cause oceanic islands to sink a thousand or more meters over a time span of tens of millions of years. A flat-topped undersea mountain is called a guyot, and there are 283 known guyots in the world's oceans. 

Considering the models for the Galapagos marine iguana, and for Bioko chimps, this model of sinking oceanic volcanic islands seems likely for seals, and for other aquatic mammals. But I have not found mention of such models on the internet.