Factors in the Evolution to Bipedalism Essay

Factors in the Evolution to Bipedalism Essay

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The evolution of the human species has significantly changed during the course of evolution to what is now the modern day Homo sapiens. Some of the changes that have occurred through the evolution are bipedalism, changes in body features such as brow ridges, and an increase in brain capacity.

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...


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Haviland, William A., Harold E. L. Prins, Dana Walrath, Sunny McBride. (2011). The Essence

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