PerspectiveArchaeology

Finding the first Americans

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Science  03 Nov 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6363, pp. 592-594
DOI: 10.1126/science.aao5473

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  • RE: Coastal Dispersal Model
    • Marc Verhaegen, Medical Doctor, Study Center for Anthropology, B-2580 Belgium.

    Beautiful article, thanks a lot. In my opinion, it is worth discussing whether not only Homo sapiens' dispersals but all dispersals of Homo populations throughout the Pleistocene occurred along the coasts (which are now mostly some 100 meters underwater) and from there inland along the rivers. This has been called the Coastal Dispersal Model (Stephen Munro 2010 "Molluscs as Ecological Indicators in Palaeoanthropological Contexts" PhD thesis Australian National University Canberra, which I have discussed more thoroughly in Human Evolution 28:237-266, 2013, google "unproven assumptions so-called aquatic ape hypothesis"). Dispersals along coasts and rivers rather than over dry plains (e.g. Endurance running Hypothesis) could help explain the drastic brain enlargement of Pleistocene Homo, thanks to the abundant brain-specific nutrients available at seacoasts, such as iodine, taurine and certain poly-unsaturated fatty acids (especially docohexaenoic acid DHA) and oligo-elements (e.g. S.C. Cunnane & K.M. Stewart eds 2010 "Human Brain Evolution: The Influence of Freshwater and Marine Food Resources" John Wiley & Sons New Jersey).

    Competing Interests: None declared.