Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bipedal Humans Came Down From The Trees, Not Up From The Ground

Significantly, two key features associated with knuckle walking were present in only 6 percent of the gorilla specimens she studied. But she found them in 96 percent of adult chimpanzees and 76 percent of bonobos. In all, she looked at specimens from 91 gorillas, 104 chimps and 43 bonobos.

Chimpanzees and bonobos have a more extended-wrist way of knuckle-walking which gives them added stability on branches, the researchers concluded. In contrast, gorillas' "columnar" style of knuckle-walking is consistent with ground transport.

"These are predictions other people can test. You should rarely, if ever, see a chimp walking upright at longer distances. The flipside of this is if a chimp is going a short distance returning to all fours is not going to happen. You can see this in human babies learning to walk. If they are going between a couch and a coffee table they are up on their feet. But if they are going a longer distance, they go down and crawl," she said.





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