AA  Vol.5 No.2 , May 2015
The Historic Role of Crocodiles and Other African Aquatic Pests in Current Sport Championships
Author(s) Simcha Lev-Yadun
ABSTRACT
Top achievements in modern sports are not distributed evenly among humans of various origins. Athletes of African origin dominate several fields of athletics, especially short- and long-distance running, which differ in their physiological and muscle structure characters and requirements. This contrasts dramatically with their near absence from the group of leading swimmers at all distances. The conspicuous absence of world-class swimmers of African origin cannot be explained by current or recent social aspects or by the history of their discrimination, and therefore deserves an alternative explanation. I propose that the conspicuous weakness of athletes of African origin in swimming is related to their evolution in the natural African environment with the probable inherited and a certain biological and/or cultural fear of predation by crocodiles and of infection by various pathogens and parasites. Members of the genus Homo that emigrated from Africa during the last 1.8 million years or have evolved outside Africa had sufficient time to get rid of the biological and/or cultural fear of swimming directly, or by gene exchange with contemporary groups that left Africa long ago and had adapted to safer water habitats. The release from the fear of crocodiles, pathogens and parasites at higher latitudes must have influenced other aspects of environmental exploitation of aquatic habitats by various hominin types, an issue outside the scope of his assay.

Cite this paper
Lev-Yadun, S. (2015). The Historic Role of Crocodiles and Other African Aquatic Pests in Current Sport Championships. Advances in Anthropology, 5, 122-125. doi: 10.4236/aa.2015.52010.
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