Re: An alternative to ST and AAT

Gerrit Hanenburg (
Tue, 03 Dec 1996 21:17:20 GMT (Paul Crowley) wrote:

>It is clear from their anatomy that there was no great
>selective pressure on the Australopithecines to develop an
>efficient walking technique, or that other aspects of their
>niche inhibited it. IOW it's unlikely that Lucy walked a lot.
>Getting around in the most effective way was not one of her
>priorities. Roh's assumption is commonly made because it
>is the obvious one: "early hominids became bipedal to get
>about more efficiently than when they were quadrupedal".
>But it is not borne out by a study of their anatomy.

You are exaggerating the inefficiency of Lucy's bipedalism.
Nowhere in the literature is it stated that Lucy's bipedalism was less
efficient than chimpanzee quadrupedalism.
Contrary to what you say it is clear from her anatomy that there had
been selection in favor of greater efficiency. Her pelvic and lower
limb anatomy show major changes in comparison with chimpanzees and
indicate a more efficient biomechanical structure for bipedalism.
Christine Berge only states that Lucy's bipedalism was likely less
efficient than that of modern humans but not that there had been no
selection for more efficiency.