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Slide 80 of 109
Bipedalism requires significant changes to the thoracic skeletal system. The foramen magnum must be relocated from the back of the skull to the base of the skull since the skull must be perpendicular to the spinal column. The upper and lower spine of bipedal creatures must be curved to absorb the shock of the bipedal gate. In contrast, the spine of apes is nearly straight. In addition, the rib cage of bipeds is barrel shaped, in contrast to the inverted V-shape of the apes. The muscles that attach to these bones must be restructured to accommodate the skeletal changes.
Last Modified June 21, 2006