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Why did our ancestors start walking upright?

bipedal geology australopithecus

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#1    DieChecker

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 06:28 AM

http://www.csmonitor...n-may-hold-clue

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Now a new study suggests that walking on two legs was a result of geology, not climate. In a study published in this month's issue of the archaeological journal Antiquity, a team of archaeologists makes the case that our forebears' transition to bipedalism was prompted by volcanoes and shifting tectonic plates in East and South Africa, which produced rocky outcroppings and steep gorges.

Interesting Theory.

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“The broken, disrupted terrain offered benefits for hominins in terms of security and food, but it also proved a motivation to improve their locomotor skills by climbing, balancing, scrambling and moving swiftly over broken ground - types of movement encouraging a more upright gait,” said University of York archaeologist and study co-author Isabelle Winder, in a press release.


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#2    Wickian

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 06:54 AM

I've always assumed we started walking upright because just plain more convenient.  It leaves our dextrous hands free, gives us a better vantage and gives better reach.


#3    Frank Merton

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 07:49 AM

View PostWickian, on 25 May 2013 - 06:54 AM, said:

I've always assumed we started walking upright because just plain more convenient.  It leaves our dextrous hands free, gives us a better vantage and gives better reach.
The problem with this is that it would raise the question why more animals don't walk upright.

I think what happened first is we lived in trees, and thereby lost much of the sense of smell that is better if you are close to the ground, plus acquired color stereoscopic vision, which is better for tree living, as well as dextrous hands.  These things, all evolved for tree living, pre-adapted us to a world where the trees were gone and we no longer had the option of living on all fours.


#4    Rlyeh

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 08:33 AM




#5    Wickian

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 08:38 AM

View PostFrank Merton, on 25 May 2013 - 07:49 AM, said:

The problem with this is that it would raise the question why more animals don't walk upright.

I think what happened first is we lived in trees, and thereby lost much of the sense of smell that is better if you are close to the ground, plus acquired color stereoscopic vision, which is better for tree living, as well as dextrous hands.  These things, all evolved for tree living, pre-adapted us to a world where the trees were gone and we no longer had the option of living on all fours.

Some apes and other animals will stand upright on two legs for short periods of time.  Bipedal walking is just a quirk we humans have that probably started out a random habit between one small group and, being intelligent animals as we are(and probably were at that stage), others saw the advantages of this and copied it.

I read a story a few years ago about a man who would drop off food onto a sandy beach for a group of apes every day at the same time.  Eventually after a period of time(I can't remember how long) one of them figured out to wash the food in the river first before eating it to get rid of sand.  The very next day every single member of that group started washing their food.

When it comes to intelligent animals, all it takes is one individual to start a beneficial habit.


#6    GirlfromOz

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 01:16 PM

The scientists that want to prove evolution,want to prove that man evolved from the apes.Let me inform you that those very scientists do not have a clue!Man did not evolve from the apes.Man was a separate entity in this world.We all supposedly evolved from our own beings.God created us in his own image.If you want to argue about this,I have had many argumentative theorists that can NOT prove that man evolved from apes.If Man evolved from the apes,then,why are there still man & apes?None of us has has evolved & separated from the very beings that we are theorised to have come from.So my friend,where did the scientists go wrong? Obviously they did not see this coming!


#7    highdesert50

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 01:25 PM

Evolution favors the survivor. Standing erect allowed humans the opportunity to see danger from afar. Remaining erect while moving allowed for improved foraging opportunities and nomadic movement while continually monitoring for danger. Because danger could be seen from afar speed was not as critical as endurance. Greater endurance allowed for more opportunity while foraging and greater exposure to a wider range of environments encouraging even more adaptability and fostering greater mental reasoning to deal with the diversity of exposure.


#8    sergeantflynn

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 01:28 PM

most probably fed-up with scraped knees .


#9    Frank Merton

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 01:29 PM

Actually I would not say we evolved from apes, but that we are apes.


#10    shaddow134

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 01:45 PM

View PostGirlfromOz, on 25 May 2013 - 01:16 PM, said:

The scientists that want to prove evolution,want to prove that man evolved from the apes.Let me inform you that those very scientists do not have a clue!Man did not evolve from the apes.Man was a separate entity in this world.We all supposedly evolved from our own beings.God created us in his own image.If you want to argue about this,I have had many argumentative theorists that can NOT prove that man evolved from apes.If Man evolved from the apes,then,why are there still man & apes?None of us has has evolved & separated from the very beings that we are theorised to have come from.So my friend,where did the scientists go wrong? Obviously they did not see this coming!

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#11    Rlyeh

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 01:56 PM

View PostGirlfromOz, on 25 May 2013 - 01:16 PM, said:

If Man evolved from the apes,then,why are there still man & apes?
Talk about not having a clue.


#12    GirlfromOz

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 02:33 PM

Our ancestors walked upright because that is the way that they started!We were not apes that had to progress to walking that way.We started walking upright because that is the way that we started.If we were made in the image of God,then we had an upper hand in the way that things worked.God gifted us all with his thinking & the way that he moved forward.He gifted us with his mind & sense of humour.He gave us a mind to think & to distinguish between right & wrong.He knew that we would question many things because he gave us our minds that,were,in a way,close to his.He gave us freedom to question.And to you Dear Rlyeh,Do you even have a clue?

Edited by GirlfromOz, 25 May 2013 - 03:04 PM.


#13    ash68

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 02:34 PM

You can't play football on all fours or maybe,to be serious, you can move alot quicker on two legs to hunt your prey,or chase the ball !!!!


#14    Rlyeh

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 02:49 PM

View PostGirlfromOz, on 25 May 2013 - 02:33 PM, said:

Our ancestors walked upright because that is the way that they started!We were not apes that had to progress to walking that way.We started walking upright because that is the way that we started.If we were made in the image of God,then we had an upper hand in the way that things worked.God gifted us all with his thinking & the way that he moved forward.He gifted us with his mind & sense of humour.He gave us a mind to think & to distinguish between right & wrong.He knew that we would question many things because he gave us our minds that,were,in a way,close to his.He gave us freedom to question.
And then you woke up.


#15    Frank Merton

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 03:03 PM

Carrying things, including babies, probably had a lot to do with it.  We were, as I already said, preadapted to an upright posture and having a head well above ground level  We don't depend on smell much -- far more on vision, we have grasping hands with nails and fingerprints rather than hooves or claws  These were all adaptations to climbing about in trees.

But, as the OP suggests, some of us found ourselves in a different terrain, with few if any trees, but lots of climbing still to be done, we would make it because of our preadaptation.  At this point evolution would continue and make us upright entirely.  All of this has been abundantly demonstrated, not just theoretically but in the actual fossil record.






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