Bipedalism Hypothesis

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In this course, the purpose of Bio-anthropology is to explain the various developments and changes in fossil records through scientific hypotheses. For instance, one of the earliest changes in hominin fossils was bipedalism – the act of walking upright. This powerful adaptation in early hominins deserves an explanation. As a result, anthropologists have wrestled with numerous scientific hypotheses to explain this locomotion phenomenon found in early Australopithecus, Ardipithecus, Sahelanthropus, etc. Therefore, the purpose of this exercise paper is to explore the different hypotheses and adaptations associated with the development of bipedalism in early hominin populations. As mentioned previously, bipedalism is defined as having an upright…show more content…
Kevin Hunt of Indiana University in Bloomington constructed the postural feeding hypothesis. In his research, Dr. Hunt “found that in chimpanzees most behaviors offered as reasons to adopt bipedalism were rare: display, tool use, carrying, and looking over obstacles made up only 1 or 2% of bipedal behavior each.” According to Dr. Hunt, “feeding made up 85% of bipedal episodes.” Chimpanzees would demonstrate bipedal behavior to reach for small fruits on small tree branches, which could be found in drier climate. These trees “elicited bipedalism because their small branches were too flexible to sit on, whereas a modified branch was quite stable.” As a result, he predicted that early hominids were confined to drier areas of African land, which meant that bipedalism could have developed as a feeding adaptation. Also, Dr. Hunt noted that the “curved robust fingers and toes, mobile shoulders, and cone-shaped torsos were evolved from arm-hanging.” During bipedal harvesting, the curved robust fingers and toes gripped the branches. The mobile shoulders and cone-shaped torso worked to relieve stress on the body while these specimens hung by one-arm. These traits are found in early hominin populations (ex. Australopithecus) stemming from 6 million years

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