Re: bipedalism and AAH

Pat Dooley (
8 May 1995 22:15:20 -0400

>And as I noted elsewhere recently, Joel Brown did some good work back in
>the '80s figuring out the ecological roles of quadrupedal, bipedal, and
>flying species in the Arizona desert. (See JTB about 1985.) Bipedal
>species (Kangaroo Rats) are adapted to longer-range search than the
>quadrupedal species (and birds take that strategy even further). They
>might not have been more efficient (in fact there's a theorem in
>mathematical biology that they cannot be more efficient), but they are
>dependent on their bipedalism to make their living.


Kangaroo rats, like their convergent Australian relatives, have large
balancing tails that are integral to their bipedalism. Cut off their tails
and they
go no place fast.

Are their spines parallel to their legs? No.

Are their pelvises parallel to their legs? No.

Are they tail-less? No.

Are they bipedal in the human sense? No.

Pat D