Re: pipedalism theories?

5 Feb 1995 01:08:06 GMT

In article <>, (Nick Longrich) writes:
>In article <>,
>(Kathleen O'Reilly) wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I am a university student currently working on my final paper for
>> anthropology. I would appreciate any information on evolutionary theories
>> concerning hominid bipedalism. Any help would be appreciated. Please
>> e-mail me directly.
>> Thank you
>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>> Kathleen O'Reilly
>> Carleton University
>> Email address:
>> The trouble with good advice is that it usually interferes with your plans!
>> Edna McCann
>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Well... there are a couple of ideas. One of them is that it is a
>locomotory adaption, that is, it allowed humans to travel long distances
>in search of food, water, etc, and that it probably evolved as the forest
>environment shifted towards a savannah. Another idea I have heard is that
>it would have freed the hands to gather food, capture prey, use tools,
>etc. In short, those are the two feasible ideas I can think of. I'd guess
>that the first is more likely, and that humans later became more
>proficient at the use of tools- from Lucy it appears that early humans had
>already become accomplished bipeds (although some new evidence apparently
>says that they were still comfortable among trees) and that the brain (and
>hence, probably, tool-using ability) was not much developed beyond than
>that of a chimpanzee.

Also, read Pete Wheeler's "Stand Tall and Stay Cool" on the advantages of
bipedalism & temperature regulation. Of course, my all time favorite
theory is Nancy Tanner's idea of sexual selection ;)