Bipedalism

Topics: Bipedalism, Quadrupedalism, Hominid Pages: 4 (1333 words) Published: October 20, 2009
“On land, tropical forests underwent reduction or, more commonly, broke up into mosaics where patches of forest were interspersed with savanna or other types of open country. With the breaking up of forests, our early ancestors found themselves spending more and more time on the ground and had to adapt to this new open environment.” There are many different theories trying to explain why and how our ancestors came to be bipeds. This quote is stating the theory that our ancestors faced many obvious problems through having to deal with the forest-savanna change. The major problems here are that as forests shrank, we had to move from patch of trees to other patches of trees, but the major problem was food gathering. As trees became scarce, so did the foods found in trees, therefore we had to rely more on foods found on the ground like seeds, grasses, and roots. As our diet changed, our dentition changed as well. As our teeth became smaller and less vicious, our hands took over by being able to use weapons and make tools.

“Bipedalism, as a means of locomotion, has its drawbacks… it makes an animal more visible to predators… and it does not make for particularly fast running.” Have you ever tried running on all fours? It’s probably harder and we cannot run fast doing so just because we have evolved out of being quadrupeds. But looking at the fastest animals in the world, most of the fastest animals run on four legs. I’m not saying that we should run on all fours but that speed was no longer a necessity in our survival. There are many disadvantages of being biped as well as advantages. I have noticed that almost all of these disadvantages are directly correlated with the advantages. Basically, everything in our evolution process was a system of trade-offs. A perfect example of this is shown here, “Still other advantages of Bipedalism would have enhanced survivability. With their heads up well above the ground, bipeds are able to spot predators before...
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