What are the advantages of human bipedalism over the locomotion methods of other animal species ?
It remains one of the biggest questions in human evolution, why did our ancestors evolve upright walking ? Is there a connection between walking upright and intelligence ? Did it provide some other advantages we haven't considered ? One of the most prevailing theories is that upright walking is more energy efficient than other locomotion methods, but how much truth is there to this ?
Physiologists Lewis Halsey and Craig White have been attempting to answer this question by comparing the efficiency of human walking to that of 80 other species. What they found was that human walking appeared to offer little advantage in terms of energy efficiency over other methods of locomotion. Surprisingly it also appeared that in some closely related animals with the same locomotion method ( such as two species of chipmunk ) there was a wider gap in walking efficiency than there was between humans and chimpanzees who employ very different locomotion methods.
"The researchers found that a typical mammal weighing 140 pounds (the average weight for humans) has a net cost of transport of 10."
View: Full article | Source: Smithsonian
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