Disadvantages Of Bipedalism

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Archaeology Essay: Bipedalism in hominids Introduction: Bipedalism is the defining characteristic of all hominins. It is what separates us from all other primates as it occurs uniquely in our species. The physical and mental characteristics of hominins has changed dramatically over our evolutionary timeline that has led to current day humans. If you were to compare a modern day human with our earliest hominin ancestors there are few similarities between them. However the one feature that unites all hominins is an upright posture and a bipedal gait. These two features characterize hominins to such a degree that skeletal adaptations caused by walking upright on two legs is used to identify our extinct hominin ancestors (Schmitt, 2003). Adapting…show more content…
We know that early hominins did become and adapt to bipedalism over time for specific reasons that allowed them to thrive but there are also disadvantages that they had to overcome. These disadvantages are important as they showcase what early hominins gave up when becoming bipedal. One of the major downfalls of bipedal locomotion has to do with speed as it is generally slower than quadrupedal movement (Niemitz, 2010). Niemitz (2010) states that with a lower movement velocity comes increased danger from predators. Not being able to move fast is also a disadvantage when it comes to gathering food as the distance that can be travelled in the same amount of time is lessened. Bipedalism is also inefficient compared to moving around on four legs (Rodman & McHenry, 1980). However hominids should not be compared with true quadrupeds as they will always seem inefficient but rather should be compared to quadrupedal hominoids as it is accepted that we evolved from these (Rodman & McHenry, 1980). Even with all of the disadvantages that bipedalism brings our ancestors still spent millions of years adapting to walking on two legs meaning that enough of an advantage had to have been gained from

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