Re: Knucklewalking

Phil Nicholls (
Tue, 20 Jun 1995 22:58:01 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.


It is pretty much agreed that hominids never knuckle-walked based
on the morphology of the bones of the hand (I can provide a detailed
reference if you would like).

Phil Nicholls "To ask a question you must first know most of the answer.
Semper Alouatta! - Robert Sheckley