The African continent nowadays is not what it was millions of years ago. By the beginning of the Miocene, which was around 22 million years ago, lush tropical forests and woodlands covered much of the landmass in tropical and subtropical Africa (Scarre, 2005). At that time, Sahara Desert had not yet developed (Scarre, 2005). Apes had no difficulties in finding food resources as they rely mostly on tress, from which they can obtain fruits and leaves from. However, around 7 or 8 million years ago (late Miocene), there was a dramatic cooling event in the earth’s climate, resulting in dropping of Mediterranean Sea level and thus causing the moisture-dependent forests of this continent to be reduced as their water sources dried up (eLucy, 2007). As their sources of food had now been reduced, they were forced to look for other sources of food. Bipedalism might have emerged over time as a result of spending more and more time looking for food resources on the ground (Fagan, 1998).
However, Dr. Isabelle Winder and her
References: Department of Anthropology, The University of Texas at Austin. (2007) Introduction to Bipedalism : What is Bipedalism. Available at http://elucy.org/Main/WhatIsBipedalism.html (Accessed 8th October 2013) Chadda, Rima. (2013) Origins of Bipedalism. Available at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/allfours/bipe-nf.html (Accessed 8th October 2013) Department of Anthropology, The University of Texas at Austin. (2007) Introduction to Bipedalism : Bipedalism Geological Age & Climate. Available at http://elucy.org/Main/BipedalismGeologicalAgeAmpClimate.html (Accessed 10th October 2013) Bohan, Christine. (2013) Scientists discover new reason why humans began walking on two feet. Available at http://www.thejournal.ie/human-ancestors-two-feet-924194-May2013/ (Accessed 10th October 2013) Champaign. (2002) Origin of Bipedalism Closely Tied to Environmental Changes. Available at http://www.spacedaily.com/news/life-02v.html (Accessed 10th October 2013) Scarre, C. (2005) The Human Past. 1st ed. London : Thames & Hudson Ltd. Fagan, B.M. (1998) People of the Earth. 9th ed. United States : Lindbriar Corp.