Bipedalism And Australopithecus

Good Essays
Introduction: Bipedalism and the change of dentition have been landmarks for evolution of the early hominins that once wandered our planet up to three million years ago (Shook, 2015). One of the specific species that has exhibited bipedalism and changes within their skeletal structure is Australopithecus africanus, that some may recognize better as the Taung Child (Barak). Living from 3 to 2.5 million years ago, this species has been known to have developing dentition and obligate bipedalism, which can be represented in their change of teeth over time along with the distal end of the tibia (Skinner); (Barak). On my expedition to the outskirts of Taung, South Africa, my crew and I discovered two bones of an Australopithecus africanus which …show more content…
If they were determined to be hominins, my next obligation was to figure out what kind of hominin based of key feature on the bones. With the tibia, a bone that is distal from the femur and patella, I noticed that at the distal end of the tibia, the medial malleolus angle is about 10 degrees off of the human tibia, and it is the same degree measurement when compared to the Taung boy skeleton (Barak). Yet, when compared to the chimpanzee tibia, they are significantly different, displaying definite change from chimpanzee towards Homo sapien (Barak). The length of the tibia was 17.5 centimeters long, making the approximate height to be two feet and 2 inches tall; not full grown while not being a young child. The growth plate between the epiphysis and the metaphysis was slightly larger than the Taung child, so I used that to determine that my discovered fossil was in the earlier juvenile stage than Taung child. The length of the tibia helped me determine if it was an Au. africanus tibia, along with the overall size because I had another skeleton to compare it to …show more content…
The molars of the teeth I found did not have as much growth like the Taung child. This correlates with the approximate height I found, because the Taung child was three feet tall while mine is two feet and two inches tall (Lacruz), (Barak). The molars were larger than human molars, but not nearly as large as a chimpanzee’s or any later hominins that have been discovered (Barak). The root length within my specimen’s mouth seemed to be an estimated one half to three fourths of a centimeter shorter than the Taung child, adding to the younger

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Powerful Essays

    Bipedalism

    • 1565 Words
    • 7 Pages

    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…

    • 1565 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Bipedalism

    • 672 Words
    • 3 Pages

    in human evolution. Bipedalism is the first human-specific phenotype in the evolution of hominin species. According to the analysis of some footprint fossils left by Australopithecus, this species had already learned to walked without their forelegs. This event occurred about 3.6 MYA as a result of the changing in skeletal structure (especially in pelvis). Although there is no evidence to support that Australopithecus was small enough to produce tools by their hands, bipedalism is still a great progress…

    • 672 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Australopithecus

    • 108 Words
    • 1 Page

    There is a lack of data and with the different types of Australopithecus that could have evolved into Homo sapiens. In my own opinion, I feel that Australopithecus africanus can be our closest ancestor and not an evolutionary dead end. We share many of the same human-like characteristics of being bipedal, the beginning to having a larger skull for the growing brain, smaller dentition, arched feet and hands capable of manipulation. The most important characteristics is being bipedal as it's one of…

    • 108 Words
    • 1 Page
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Australopithecus

    • 253 Words
    • 2 Pages

    DIK-1-1 Exhibit item Nickname: Dikika Child Site: Dikika, Ethiopia Date of discovery: 2000 Discovered by: A team led by Zeresenay Alemseged Age: About 3.3 million years old Species: Australopithecus afarensis The fossilized remains of this 3 year-old early human child are often referred to as belonging to ‘Lucy’s baby' since she was found only a few miles south from where Lucy was found Lucy over two decades earlier, even though the child's fossil is actually 100,000 years…

    • 253 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    bipedalism

    • 819 Words
    • 4 Pages

    While humans and primates are related in many ways, there are distinct characteristics for hominids. The most unique characteristic difference that separates hominids and non-human primates is bipedalism. While hominids walk on two feet, non-human primates are quadrupedal, using all fours to get around. Multiple experiments were conducted to identify between the advantages and disadvantages of being bipedal. The first experiment involved observing human and non-human primates and their difference…

    • 819 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Bipedalism

    • 780 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Evolution: Bipedalism The evolution of bipedalism is said to be one of the most crucial stages in evolution itself. The ability to stand changed the body’s locomotion forever. Bipedal locomotion consists of walking, running, and standing on two legs. Being able to carry out these tasks caused a series of complex transitions. The entire human body had to adapt to this huge change. Not only did the legs undergo drastic changes, but the entire body did as well. The evolution of bipedalism helped…

    • 780 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Australopithecus Fossil

    • 329 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Australopithecus By: Chris Stewart Date: December 15th 1996 Biology There are many types of the hominid called australopithecus, which means southern apes. These were small ape-like creatures(with a height between 107cm and 152cm) that showed evidence of walking upright. It is difficult to tell whether these begins are "humans" or "apes". Many of their characteristics are split between humans and apes. The many species of australopithecus include A.(australopithecus) ramidus, A. anamenesis…

    • 329 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Bipedalism Hypothesis

    • 1208 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Along with a big brain, opposable thumbs, bipedalism is one of the characteristics that makes the human species unique. The dictionary defines bipedalism as “a condition of using two feet for standing or walking”. Walking on two legs allowed our ancestors to see better, have freed up hands, and eventually become erect. Bipedalism is one of the initial driving force of the human evolution. It is still being debated to on exactly when did the ancestor of our species began to walk on two legs. One…

    • 1208 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    There are many other arguments for bipedalism. Some Paleoanthropologists have argued that bipedalism, monogamy and the lack of visible estrus were interrelated. Bipedalism favoured males who gathered food for females which contributed towards monogamous behaviour and certainty of the paternity of offspring. Peter Wheeler noted that a bipedal hominin exposes only 7% of its surface to sunlight, whereas quadrupeds expose 20% of their surface. He argued that bipedalism evolved to prevent overheating.…

    • 98 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Bipedalism Research Paper

    • 1329 Words
    • 6 Pages

    ADAPTING TO THE CHANGING ENVIRONMENT: Bipedalism Bipedalism- the condition of being two-footed or of using two feet for standing and walking. The hominoid apes flourished at the very beginning of the Miocene epoch, when lush tropical rain forests were the predominant habitat. In the Opinion of many Anthropologists, bipedalism was adaptive for life amid the tall grasses of the savannas. Baboons and some other old World monkeys also live in savanna- type environments, yet although they can…

    • 1329 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Powerful Essays