Bipedalism the path to the future

Bipedalism Standing or moving on two appendages is one of the defining characteristics of being human. But bipedal motion is not an exclusively human activity. Other bipedal animals include kangaroos, gibbons and giant pangolins.

Bipedalism the path to the future

Genetic data based on molecular clock estimates support a Late Miocene ancestry. Various Eurasian and African Miocene primates have been advocated as possible ancestors to the early hominins, which came on the scene during the Pliocene Epoch 5.

Though there is no consensus among experts, the primates suggested include Kenyapithecus, Griphopithecus, DryopithecusGraecopithecus OuranopithecusSamburupithecus, Sahelanthropus, and Orrorin. Kenyapithecus inhabited Kenya and Griphopithecus lived in central Europe and Turkey from about 16 to 14 mya.

Dryopithecus is best known from western and central Europe, where it lived from 13 to possibly 8 mya. Graecopithecus lived in northern and southern Greece about 9 mya, at roughly the same time as Samburupithecus in northern Kenya.

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Sahelanthropus inhabited Chad between 7 and 6 million years ago. Orrorin was from central Kenya 6 mya. Among these, the most likely ancestor of great apes and humans may be either Kenyapithecus or Griphopithecus.

Among evolutionary models that stress the Eurasian species, some consider Graecopithecus to be ancestral only to the human lineage, containing AustralopithecusParanthropus, and Homowhereas others entertain the possibility that Graecopithecus is close to the great-ape ancestry of Pan chimpanzees and bonobos and Gorilla as well.

In the former model, Dryopithecus is ancestral to Pan and Gorilla. On the other hand, others would have Dryopithecus ancestral to Pan and Australopithecus on the way to Homo, with Graecopithecus ancestral to Gorilla.

This morphology-based model mirrors results of some molecular studies, which show chimpanzees, bonobos, and humans to be more closely related to one another than any of them is to gorillas; orangutans are more distantly related. In a phylogenetic model that emphasizes African Miocene species, Samburupithecus is ancestral to Australopithecus, Paranthropus, and Orrorin, and Orrorin begets Australopithecus afarensis, which is ancestral to Homo.

Bipedalism the path to the future

The Miocene Epoch was characterized by major global climatic changes that led to more seasonal conditions with increasingly colder winters north of the Equator. By the Late Miocene, in many regions inhabited by apelike primates, evergreen broad-leaved forests were replaced by open woodlands, shrublands, grasslands, and mosaic habitats, sometimes with denser-canopied forests bordering lakes, rivers, and streams.

Such diverse environments stimulated novel adaptations involving locomotion in many types of animals, including primates. In addition, there were a larger variety and greater numbers of antelope, pigs, monkeys, giraffes, elephants, and other animals for adventurous hominins to scavenge and perhaps kill.

But large cats, dogs, and hyenas also flourished in the new environments; they not only would provide meat for scavenging hominins but also would compete with and probably prey upon them. In any case, our ancestors were not strictly or even heavily carnivorous.

Instead, a diet that relied on tough, abrasive vegetation, including seeds, stems, nuts, fruits, leaves, and tubers, is suggested by primate remains bearing large premolar and molar teeth with thick enamel.

Behaviour and morphology associated with locomotion also responded to the shift from arboreal to terrestrial life. The development of bipedalism enabled hominins to establish new niche s in forests, closed woodlands, open woodlands, and even more open areas over a span of at least 4.

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Indeed, obligate terrestrial bipedalism that is, the ability and necessity of walking only on the lower limbs is the defining trait required for classification in the human tribe, Hominini. Striding through the Pliocene The anatomy of bipedalism Bipedalism is not unique to humans, though our particular form of it is.

Whereas most other mammalian bipeds hop or waddle, we stride. Homo sapiens is the only mammal that is adapted exclusively to bipedal striding. Unlike most other mammalian orders, the primates have hind- limb -dominated locomotion. Accordingly, human bipedalism is a natural development from the basic arboreal primate body plan, in which the hind limbs are used to move about and sitting upright is common during feeding and rest.

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Bipedalism is a form of terrestrial locomotion where an organism moves by means of its two rear limbs or legs. An animal or machine that usually moves in a bipedal manner is known as a biped /.

Once started, there are many reasons why bipedalism is useful. That is not to say, quadrupedalism isn't, but rather that new opportunities arose and once we went down the two-legged pathway, it was a good path .

An understanding of the evolution of human bipedalism can provide valuable insights into the biomechanical and physiological characteristics of locomotion in modern humans.

The walking gaits of humans, other bipeds and most quadrupedal mammals can best be described by using an inverted-pendulum model, in which there is minimal change in .

How Bipedalism Arose. By Donald Johanson; Bipedalism was a behavioral innovation that led the way to making everything possible for our evolution, even if it is still not perfected. Humans. Unlike most editing & proofreading services, we edit for everything: grammar, spelling, punctuation, idea flow, sentence structure, & more.

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NOVA - Official Website | How Bipedalism Arose