Friday, March 23, 2018
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in
This news story is archived which means that, while it is still available to view, the information contained within may be outdated and the original source site/link may no longer be viewable.

For the most recent stories, please visit either the site's home page or main news section.

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
I am not going to waste my time trying to explain to yourselves.Your dual identities explain it all.Your explanations are not sufficient enough to me to warrant my explaining myself to you.Just get on with it all & accept the whole biblical truth. 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
this makes me wonder.. what was in his other hand? 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.

  On the forums
Wreck of the USS Juneau found after 75 years
The World War II-era vessel went down in 1942 after being hit by Japanese torpedoes in the Pacific.
Tiangong-1 space station to crash over Easter
China's out-of-control Tiangong-1 space lab is now expected to fall to Earth over the Easter weekend.
Mystery of lioness with a mane has been solved
Researchers have finally determined why a zoo lioness has mysteriously sprouted mane-like head and neck hair.
Astronomer announces the discovery of... Mars
One astronomer was left red-faced this week after he mistook the planet Mars for an undiscovered star.
Other news in this category
Did Triceratops use its horns to attract a mate ?
Posted 3-21-2018 | 4 comments
Scientists believe that dinosaurs like Triceratops may have used their horns to impress potential partners....
Archaeopteryx likely flew in short bursts
Posted 3-13-2018 | 3 comments
A new study has determined that this ancient winged reptile could only fly over short distances....
Neanderthals created oldest known cave art
Posted 2-23-2018 | 5 comments
A new study has found that Neanderthals, not humans, created the world's oldest known cave paintings....
Land plants arrived much earlier than thought
Posted 2-20-2018 | 0 comments
It is believed that plants first arose on land 100 million years earlier than previous studies had suggested....
Early human hunting linked to drawing ability
Posted 2-11-2018 | 3 comments
The way our ancestors hunted prey may have given them a significant advantage over the Neanderthals....
Were dinosaurs a victim of their own success?
Posted 2-7-2018 | 0 comments
The dinosaurs' total domination of our planet may have played a major role in their eventual demise....
Spider with a tail found preserved in amber
Posted 2-5-2018 | 12 comments
Scientists have identified a species of long-tailed proto-spider dating back over 100 million years....
Dinosaur tracks found outside NASA Goddard
Posted 2-1-2018 | 11 comments
100 million-year-old dinosaur and mammal tracks have been found at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center....
Oldest human fossil outside Africa discovered
Posted 1-26-2018 | 0 comments
A prehistoric jawbone unearthed in Israel's Misliya Cave is believed to date back up to 200,000 years....
Oolitic limestone is full of tiny fossils
Posted 1-21-2018 | 4 comments
Many of today's major buildings were constructed using a material that is filled with tiny prehistoric fossils....
Ancient butterflies existed before flowers
Posted 1-14-2018 | 5 comments
A fascinating discovery has called in to question everything we know about the evolution of butterflies....

 View: More news in this category
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 2001-2017
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ