June 2, 2007
Why You And I Walk On Two Feet
Have you ever wondered why we, homo sapiens, walk on two feet?
Why aren't we like our four-legged friends, for example, like King, my neighbour's pet alsatian.
According to a study published in the journal Science, it says that upright walking was always a feature of ape behaviour.
British authors Susannah Thorpe, Robin Crompton and Roger Holder arrived at this conclusion after analysing the movement of wild orangutans. As we all know, these apes spend most of their lives in trees, unless they are from another planet.
These authors believe that knuckle-walking is a recent evolution - a way to get around the forest floor. The new theory suggests that our ancestors began walking upright while they were still living in trees.
On the study, Prof Daniel Lieberman, a biological anthropologist from Harvard University, told BBC News: "I think it's a neat paper; it's always terrific when people think creatively about the origins of human bipedalism. But it's not going to be the last word."
Upright Walking "Began In Trees"