Bipedalism

Powerful Essays
Topics: Human, Hominidae
Walking is something the majority of people take for granted. Bipedalism is a highly complicated process that took millions of years to evolve. Bipedalism has provided humans with many advantages and it is what defines us. By understanding the origins of bipedalism helps us to understand many questions about human nature. It is important to gather information on our ancestors past in order to understand the gradual process of bipedalism. Millions of years ago in Africa different apes dominated the African continent, which was covered by lush vegetation. As these apes abounded in the African forests, their bodies adapted to the environment, developing grasping toes and joint mobility in arms and shoulders. These features provided them with brilliant surviving tools. However the world started to experience climate change, which transformed these lush forests into open woodland. As most apes were becoming extinct, some were adapting to these changes in the environment. One of the species that was to adapt to these changes was to become our ancestor. The Australopithecus has the morphology that is considered to be most similar to humans. Our ancestors’ footprints are enshrined in a place called Laetoli, where one can find footsteps dating back millions of years. The characteristics of these footprints are incredibly modern. They show no sign of insecure or “imperfect” bipedalism; rather they indicate, even the smallest details, a way of walking identical to our own. These footsteps were identified as an australopithecine’s footsteps after finding a skeleton belonging to the same era. This skeleton that gave us an insight into human bipedalism was named ‘Lucy’, analysing her fossils has provided us with a chance to trace our roots and enabled us to examine the process of bipedalism. The discovery of Lucy proved to be revolutionary, even though only parts of her skeleton survived. By uncovering Lucy has provided us with an insight into the past and confirms

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