Re: Okay seriously now (AAT again)

Pat Dooley (
17 Dec 1994 01:00:03 -0500

In article <>, (Phillip Bigelow) writes:

I wrote:
>>Lucy, the first nearly complete skeleton of an Australopithecus
>>afarensis, had feet that were broader and larger than ours,
>>(35% of leg length instead of 26%). Her gait was described by
>>Roger Lewin as "not quite as bad as trying to walk on dry land
>>wearing swimming flippers but in the same direction."

> you wrote
> Reseachers who specialize in the study of A. afarensis (Lovejoy,
>Johanson, Mary Leaky, among others) have consistently stated that Lucy's
>gait was nearly humanlike. It has never been characterized by any
>researcher as an awkward gait on land. The most convincing argument for
>smooth human-like gait on Lucy are the footprints that Mary Leakey found.
>The prints show the foot was directly aligned with the direction of
>and were surprisingly large in stride. There is clear evidence in the
>prints of a strong, well-developed arch. All other apes lack a arch in
Roger Lewin is a name to be listed with Johanson, Leakey et al.
I have no problem with Lucy being able to walk like a human. She was
fully bipedal, after all, except for a slight problem with locking
her knees when upright.
> Johanson, Lovejoy and Leakey, all have noted that a strong arch is an
>absolute necessity for long-distance travel on land. Arch support is a
>"spring" to relieve the shock of locomotion on land. There is no reason
>a strong arch on an aquatic mammal, because an animal weighs less in the
If her ancestors were semi-aquatic
and she had to walk bipedally when she came ashore to sleep, forage,
warm-up, or whatever, a well-developed arch would be a great help.

Pat Dooley

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