Bipedalism is a form of locomotion that is on two feet and is the one factor that separates humans from other forms of hominoids. The first bipeds are believed to have lived in Africa between 5 and 8 million years ago. (Haviland et al. 2011, pg. 78). The evolution to bipedalism resulted in various anatomical changes. To be able to balance on two legs, the skull must be centered over the spinal column. As bipeds evolved, the foramen magnum, the opening at the base of skull for the spinal column, moved from the back of the skull to the center. The spinal column also evolved from a continuous curve to a spine with four concave and convex curves. (Haviland et al. 2011, pgs. 79, 80). Another change was the widening of the pelvis which gives a wider plateau for more balance when walking on two legs.
Many factors could have played a part in the evolution to bipedalism. Some of these are adaptation to environment and the need to have free hands to handle tools and weapons. These factors were the basis of Charles Darwin's theory of the evolution of quadrupeds to bipeds. (Hawks). Advantages of bipedalism include the ability to see farther and wider distances because you can see from a higher vantage point; the ability to carry food, tools, and weapons; and more efficient movement.
Bipedalism had many advantages, but it also had many disadvantages and provided dangers to early hominids. Some of these disadvantages included i...
... middle of paper ...
...linois at Chicago. Retrieved from the Web 11/16/13.
McKie, Robin. (2013). "Why Did the Neanderthals Die Out?" The Guardian. Retrieved from
the Web 11/17/13.
O'Neil, Dennis. (2012). "Early Hominin Evolution: A Survey of Australopithecines
and Related Genera." Palomar College. Retrieved from the Web 11/18/13.
"Prognathism." Center for Academic Research & Training in Anthropogeny. Retrieved from the
Web 11/18/13. http://carta.anthropogeny.org/moca/topics/prognathism
Haviland, William A., Harold E. L. Prins, Dana Walrath, Sunny McBride. (2011). The Essence
of Anthropology. Third Edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Two of the most distinct features that separate humans from the other great apes are bipedalism and large brain in relation to body size. But how did these features become so prominent in humans. Approximately 6-7million years ago, the hominid lineage began to diverge from the other great ape species. Tracing the evolutionary history through fossil evidence explains how early hominids evolved to become today’s most prolific primate species. The goal of this paper is to discuss the physical characteristics that indicate the evolution of bipedalism and large brain size in the hominid line.... [tags: Human, Hominidae, Human evolution, Primate]
853 words (2.4 pages)
- One of the biggest questions asked by not only researchers, but everyday people as well, has been the question of what makes we as people human. Being human consists of a complexity of definitions and factors that coexist with one another to make up who we are as people, and through anthropology, being human is studied very carefully in order to provide an answer to this question. Aspects such as language and communication, self-conceptualism, and bipedalism all correlate to what consists of being human, and while some of these can relate to other species, human beings use them in uniquely different ways that enhance our functioning in the world.... [tags: Human, Human evolution, Hominidae, Primate]
1066 words (3 pages)
- As human beings, we always want to know how we have evolved over millions of years. We know that bipedalism is one of the most important developments of human. Even though bipedalism includes both walking and running, running is not considered to be a major factor in human evolution and changes in the anatomy. Running instead is viewed as a by-product of enhanced walking. However, recent studies by Bramble, Lieberman, and other scholars have suggested that the evolution of many features of human anatomy is an adaptation to long distance running (2004).... [tags: Human, Human evolution, Energy, Human anatomy]
2753 words (7.9 pages)
- Parental investment is any contribution that a parent gives to an offspring to increase the offspring’s chances of survival and reproduction at the expense of the parent’s ability to contribute to other aspects of its fitness (Barrett et al., 2002). Investment can be time, energy, food, protection, shelter, or other forms of care that benefit an offspring (Barrett et al., 2002). Costs to the parent are incurred on its inclusive fitness through lessening its ability to reproduce or invest in other existing offspring (Barrett et al., 2002).... [tags: Psychology]
1455 words (4.2 pages)
- The Arboreal Ancestry Recent research has proved to support the hypothesis that one of the hallmarks of human evolution, bipedalism, arose from an arboreal ancestry. As implied, the tree-living ancestor was to have a benefited from a bipedal gait through aided mobility throughout the tree network (Thorpe et. al., 2007). In addition, the use of the upper body in the arboreal ancestor would be helpful in foraging (Stanford 2006). The importance of the arboreal ancestor hypotheses is their relation to the lower body development towards a bipedal posture and gait.... [tags: Arboreal Ancestry, Research, Human Evolution]
1773 words (5.1 pages)
- Throughout the conceptual yet acknowledged theories surrounding human evolutionary traits and behaviours, the exact forces that specifically promoted bipedalism are still difficult to determine. Controversy lies with the suggestion that bipedalism arose from as early as 5.8 million years ago, in the late Miocene era, but it can be scientifically defined that the first definite bipedal hominin was the Australopithecus anamensis in the Pliocene. These findings suggest that at 3.9-2.9 million years ago, bipedalism was evolving; certain conditions acted as influences upon the hominins to develop bipedality.... [tags: Evolution Biology]
1332 words (3.8 pages)
- When a person is asked how humans differ from apes, bipedalism would probably be the last thing that a modern human would think of. Bipedalism seems so ordinary when people live in a world of technology that has seen the inventions of cars, planes, and computers. When Albert Einstein is mentioned, very few would agree that his theory of relativity is second place to the feat of walking upright on two legs. Yet, if the first Hominids had not taken those first steps, humanity might not have evolved into the modern societies that currently exist.... [tags: charles darwin, locomotion, evolution]
1366 words (3.9 pages)
- Human evolution Introduction Human evolution is the growth and adaptions of humans over the six million years we have been on this earth. The reason we have adapted is to increase the chance of our survival. There is a lot of scientific evidence that supports this concept of evolution such as human fossils, natural selection, genetic evidence and major developments in humans over the six million years such as bipedalism. This report will explain the concept of human evolution, give strong scientific evidence to support the concept and give examples for this theory.... [tags: scientific evidence, bipedalism]
631 words (1.8 pages)
- The birth of a baby is a miracle to the world; a baby crawling by itself is a huge achievement; a baby taking its very first steps is a historical moment for human evolution. A human is able to endure many changes, socially and environmentally, tailoring its skills and abilities along the way. The most remarkable adaptation for humans is the ability to walk upright on two feet, rather than crawling on all fours. When a baby is able to master the mechanics of bipedalism, it is a significant moment in that child’s life.... [tags: having free hands, human evolution]
726 words (2.1 pages)
- Hominid's Development of Bipedalism Approximately 4 million years ago a wonderful evolutionary phenomenon was happening in Africa. Early hominids, man’s ancestors, were beginning a giant leap in their evolution. These hominids were moving out of the forest and beginning to walk upright, out on the open plains (Fagan, 98). This change from quadrupedalism was the most significant adaptation that ever happened to these early hominids. It caused many adaptations that make man what he is today. This process occurred in early hominids for many different reasons, each reason helping to perfect the upright walking posture.... [tags: Papers]
600 words (1.7 pages)