Re: Okay seriously now (AAT again)

Phillip Bigelow (
Wed, 14 Dec 1994 20:06:00 GMT (Pat Dooley) writes:

>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."

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 serious
researcher as an awkward gait on land. The most convincing argument for a
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 travel,
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 the
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 for
a strong arch on an aquatic mammal, because an animal weighs less in the