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Walking Tall

Anthropologists, Paleontologists, and Archaeologists all over the world have one common interest; learning about our ancestors and where they came from. Many believe that we have evolved from lower forms and that our closest “relatives” would be the primates of the world. Human beings actually do have a lot in common with the primate family such as, the need to be socially accepted with in a group, making of tools to get what is needed to survive, and in some cases walking up right or being bipedal. Walking on two legs, bipedalism, is one unique features that distinguishes humans and their immediate fossil ancestors from the chimpanzees, gorillas and all other non-human primates. Knowing that our ancestors might have been walking up right longer then we had originally expected would be a huge break through on where we came from and when we first started to evolve into modern day humans.

Many signs of bipedalism have shown up all over the paleontologists maps in the past couple of decades. Examples such as John Hawks attention to the pelvis makes it easy to see the signs. Hawks points out the differences in the pelvis of a chimpanzee, a human being, and Lucy. A chimpanzee's pelvis is narrow and long, both signs of knuckle waking; while Lucy is still narrow it is more similar to human beings pelvis which is broad and short. “The width of the

pelvis affects the muscular requirements of walking...The muscles that prevent the body from falling over attach to the lateral part of the ilium and to the femur, pulling the trunk upward around the hip joint. A wide ilium tends to increase the efficiency of these muscles.” (John Hawks,

University of Wisconsin-Madison) Paleontologists can tell if the remains that they have found was in fact bipedal just by delicate detail such as the pelvis.

Another hypothesis known as the postural feeding, presented by Kevin Hunt in 1996, is an ecological model. This hypothesis gives examples of the arboreal food gathering postures of arm-hanging and vertical climbing, a shared adaptation and posture of apes, are common to influence anatomy. Hunt later states that eighty percent chimpanzees are bipedal when feeding. This would be the strength of his hypothesis, that, by adaptation, we would soon evolve into bipedal walking because of the feeding and gathering to survive, and with more positive



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