Re: Knucklewalking

Cameron Shelley (
Mon, 19 Jun 1995 13:38:47 GMT (Harry Erwin) wrote:
>I went through Tuttle's article on the subject in Primate Functional
>Morphology and Evolution. Very interesting! Orangs knucklewalk in addition
>to fist walking when they spend time on the ground. It's not as optimized
>as in Pan and Gorilla, where the hand has been modified to handle the
>stresses. On the other hand, I understand the small apes tend to be
>bipedal, since they don't need the forelimb support as much. Morphology
>tracks behavior, but at a distance! All this tells us that early hominids
>probably used knucklewalking at times (when forelimb support was needed)
>and abandoned it under some sort of selective pressure.

Hm. Do immature apes have trouble knucklewalking? If so, one could
make a case for bipedalism originating as an expression of neotony.


Cameron Shelley - Department of Philosophy - University of Waterloo
Email: - Phone: (519) 888-1211 x2555
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