Re: Bipedalism

Gerrit Hanenburg (
Thu, 8 Jun 1995 22:29:09 GMT

Can it be that the anatomical characters which show that A.afarensis
and H.habilis were adept arboreal(as some believe)are retained
primitive characters with little functional and/or behavioural
Isn't the derived anatomical complex associated with bipedalism
of more importance in finding out about the lifestyle of early
I believe that derived characters are often a sign that a species
has adapted to a new niche.
It is bipedalism and not arboreality that makes a primate something
special:a hominid.
If characters such as curved phalanges,a cranially oriented glenoid
cavity and a stable elbowjoint are primitive characters,inherited
from an arboreal ancestor,than putting too much stress on them in
relation to hominids may lead us the wrong way in assessing their
way of life.
Maybe these characters were of less adaptive significance to early
hominids than they were to arboreal apes.