Other past semiaquatics - a crying elephant?

Discussions about Waterside Hypotheses of Human Evolution or any other topic related to human evolution.

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Other past semiaquatics - a crying elephant?

Postby CEngelbrecht » Thu Jul 10, 2014 6:49 am

Elaine Morgan touched on other mammal species being "over looked" past semiaquatics, as she argued humans were. I have seen biological families like elephants, rhinos, tapirs, suids and shrews being mentioned in the debate as potential past or present semiaquatics. Elephants seems to be the best supported by fossil evidence, e.g. back to the hippo-like Moeritherium 37 mya.

Another thing Elaine touched on was human emotional tears being an aquatic "marker", originally citing e.g. sea birds exuding wast ammounts of salt water from their eyes. Personally, I remember a documentary of a large sea turtle having laid eggs on the beach, being studied by biologists while held captive for a short while, and then from the stress of the situation exuded a form of thready slime from its eyes. If human tears are somehow an aquatic remnant, other possible past semiaquatics would cry also as an aquatic marker.

This news story reminded me of this. A male Indian elephant was rescued by animal activists from quite brutal human captors, who had kept it chained for years in a quite inhuman (hm!) fashion. The third picture listed in the article shows the male just as it's leg chains (having invert spikes!) is to be removed, and shows tears rolling down from its eyes.
Quote: "'The team were astounded to see tears roll down his face during the rescue,' Pooja Binepal, of Wildlife SOS-UK, told the Daily Mirror."
(And in the last picture, we see another potential aquatic marker in elephants, which we also share with them: Their bathing behavior.)

Other example.

Are there any further studies into emotional tears in elephants or other past semiaquatics? Or can such "stress tears" occur generally in any species?
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