Emergence of Bipedalism

Driven by habitat change from woodland to open savanna?

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Slide 75 of 109

The prevailing evolutionary theory to account for the appearance of bipedalism is that the habitat of the hominids changed from woodland to open savanna. Under these conditions, erect posture would be helpful in detecting predators and maintaining body temperature. However, with recent studies pushing bipedalism back to at least 4 million years, the woodland habitat does not provide the proper driving force to select for the appearance of a bipedal stance.

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  1. Reed, Kaye E., 1997. Early hominid evolution and ecological change through the African Plio-Pleistocene. Journal of Human Evolution 32: 289-322.

Last Modified June 21, 2006


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