Monday, November 30, 2015   |   3,503 users online
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos  ·  Chat
Find: in

Why did our ancestors start walking upright ?

Posted on Saturday, 25 May, 2013 | Comment icon 45 comments | News tip by: DieChecker

Image credit: CC 2.0 possan

What was it that lead our distant ancestors to move from walking on four legs to walking on two ?

One of the most prevailing theories concerns changes in the climate up to 2.5 million years ago which lead to the demise of large swaths of forest in Africa. As the trees made way for open savannah, it is believed, our ancestors adapted by developing the ability to walk upright. Now however this theory has been challenged by a team of archaeologists who have suggested the change was brought about not by climate change but by geology.

Volcanic activity and shifting tectonic plates in Africa at the time could have produced uneven terrain, deep gorges and other obstacles that favor bipedalism. "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 study co-author Isabelle Winder.

"Being four-legged has its perks. As a quadruped, your center of gravity is lower, there's less wind resistance when you're running, and, best of all, you can use your hind foot to scratch your ear."

  View: Full article |  Source: Christian Science Monitor

  Discuss: View comments (45)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #36 Posted by Maz1 on 26 May, 2013, 21:10
There was a documentary 10 years ago which said that one of the reason we are bipedal is to conserve our energy for sex. *Goes back to my little hole*
Comment icon #37 Posted by bigjonalien on 26 May, 2013, 23:06
I'd like to know why we weren't born with four arms and two hearts?
Comment icon #38 Posted by DieChecker on 26 May, 2013, 23:06
Gorillas and Chimps walk tripod when carrying or dragging something. Those apes mostly have one baby at a time. Now imagine a sub-species of chimp that had two or more babies at a time... They'd need both hands to carry their babies.
Comment icon #39 Posted by Skithia on 27 May, 2013, 10:38
Comment icon #40 Posted by Abramelin on 27 May, 2013, 15:21
Why did our ancestors start walking upright? Maybe their knees started hurting:
Comment icon #41 Posted by Frank Merton on 27 May, 2013, 15:27
From the picture it is obvious we are not designed to walk on all fours. The thing is, we are descended from animals that were. Hence morning backache.
Comment icon #42 Posted by PersonFromPorlock on 27 May, 2013, 15:55
Paperwork. It started early.
Comment icon #43 Posted by starchild1976 on 30 May, 2013, 6:39
It was to help the chicken cross the road.
Comment icon #44 Posted by Artaxerxes on 7 August, 2013, 3:37
It takes less energy to walk bi-pedal on two legs than it does on four legs. It's as simple as that. Food/energy/calories were at a premium and our ancestors had to save energy any way they could. They had to go further to feed and it was cheaper energy wise to walk on two legs than on four.
Comment icon #45 Posted by SkepticalB on 7 August, 2013, 5:21
I always assumed it was so they could learn to strut

Please Login or Register to post a comment.

Other news in this category
Scientists solve how snakes lost their legs
Posted 11-28-2015 | 9 comments
Researchers have revealed that snakes lost their limbs when they began living and hunting in burrows....
Prehistoric 'vampire' microbes discovered
Posted 11-20-2015 | 3 comments
750 million-year-old fossils have revealed evidence of a deadly microbe with vampiric tendencies....
'Hobbits' were a distinct species after all
Posted 11-19-2015 | 14 comments
New research has indicated that 'hobbit' remains found inside a cave actually do belong to a new species....
Scientists discover fossils of dog-sized rats
Posted 11-8-2015 | 20 comments
Today's rats might be getting bigger but they can't possibly compare to this ancient species of rodent....
Tyrannosaurus rex feasted on its own kind
Posted 10-30-2015 | 12 comments
New evidence suggests that the meat-eating behemoth was no stranger to eating its fellow tyrannosaurs....
Early humans didn't get enough sleep either
Posted 10-17-2015 | 8 comments
Our tendency to not get enough sleep at night is seemingly not an exclusively modern phenomenon....
Ancient human teeth reveal early migration
Posted 10-15-2015 | 35 comments
Anthropologists have discovered 47 human teeth in a cave in Southern China that date back 80,000 years....
Dinosaur nest found within 'Dragon's Tomb'
Posted 10-15-2015 | 2 comments
Paleontologists have unearthed a nest full of baby hadrosaurs in a fossil-rich region of Mongolia....
New mammoth find could aid cloning efforts
Posted 10-9-2015 | 10 comments
Scientists have unearthed a well-preserved mammoth specimen on the Lyakhovsky Islands in Eastern Russia....
Mammoth remains found in a Michigan field
Posted 10-4-2015 | 4 comments
The impressive woolly mammoth bones were discovered quite unexpectedly by two local farmers....
Supervolcanoes helped seal dinosaurs' fate
Posted 10-2-2015 | 4 comments
The asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs might have also produced intense volcanic activity....

 View: More news in this category
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.6 2001-2015
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ