Re: An alternative to ST and AAT

Paul Crowley (
Mon, 25 Nov 96 18:10:54 GMT

In article <> "Phillip Bigelow" writes:

> Paul Crowley wrote:
> >
> > I cannot see how you would distinguish "striding bipedalism"
> > from "non-striding bipedalism" under your description.
> Examples of "non-striding bipedalism":
> 1) Saltative bipedalism (both feet leave the ground during part
> of the cycle).
> 2) Shuffling bipedalism (no feet leave the ground during any part the
> cycle). As far as I know, no (healthy) creature locomotes this
> way; yet, it still remains a theoretical type of bipedalism.

Yes. I accept that there are all kind of ways of walking.
The English language makes fine distinctions: saunter, stroll,
shuffle, shamble, hobble, limp, totter, stagger, lurch, slouch
drag, mince, prance, stalk, strut, swagger, sidle, roll, swing,
amble, - and many more. Other languages would make similar,
and equally valid, distinctions.

We often walk without striding. Small children don't stride
as long legs and some weight are necessary. But striding *is*
a distinctive H.s.s. capacity. It's unlikely that the Laetoli
footprints were produced by _striding_ hominids. Lucy & Co got
around, but they did it like children do it now, without the
highly efficient technique of mature H.s.s.

Children don't stride and neither do they (usually) waddle.
Did Lucy? I'd say "probably". But clearly there can be
many interpretations. However, striding is so important that
any proper account of bipedalism must be able to distinguish
between animals that can stride and those that can't.