Friday, September 19, 2014   |   3,590 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
Why?
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
Ancient reptile named after 'Avatar' creature
Posted 9-15-2014 | 6 comments
A huge winged reptile from Earth's past is very similar to the flying creatures in the movie 'Avatar'....
 
Spinosaurus hunted its prey from the water
Posted 9-12-2014 | 6 comments
The meat-eating behemoth is believed to have stalked the prehistoric waterways of North Africa....
 
Colossal new dinosaur species discovered
Posted 9-4-2014 | 19 comments
The enormous prehistoric reptile was so massive that it weighed the same as seven Tyrannosaurus rex....
 
Neanderthals co-existed with us for millennia
Posted 8-21-2014 | 32 comments
Humans and Neanderthals are now believed to have lived alongside one another for as long as 5,000 years....
 
Prehistoric pterosaur colony discovered
Posted 8-14-2014 | 6 comments
Scientists have found the fossil remains of several dozen members of a previously unknown species....
 
Did prehistoric worms save the world ?
Posted 8-11-2014 | 5 comments
Burrowing worms may have had a profound impact on the development of life over 500 million years ago....
 
'Hobbit' human may have had Down syndrome
Posted 8-6-2014 | 20 comments
New doubts have been cast on the idea that a species of small humans lived on the island of Flores....
 
Giant 6ft penguins once roamed the Earth
Posted 8-3-2014 | 21 comments
Scientists have uncovered the fossil remains of an enormous penguin that was the size of an adult human....
 
Dinosaurs shrank for over 50 million years
Posted 8-2-2014 | 13 comments
Researchers have been piecing together how therapod dinosaurs eventually became today's birds....
 
Earth fossils could be found on the moon
Posted 7-30-2014 | 19 comments
Scientists believe that fossils from the Earth could be potentially found on the surface of the moon. ...
 
Did 'bad luck' wipe out the dinosaurs ?
Posted 7-28-2014 | 24 comments
Scottish scientists believe that the dinosaurs were wiped out by a series of consecutive disasters....
 

 View: More news in this category
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.6 Unexplained-Mysteries.com 2001-2014
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ