Modern Human Characteristics

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Modern humans have evolved over millions of years from primates and therefore we share many special characteristics but as many anthropologists believe, there are many identifiable characteristics which distinguish modern humans from non-human primates. These constraints are both anatomical and behavioural. Biological features include larger brains, smaller frontal teeth, smaller faces and bipedalism (Mann 1972). Bipedalism is a form of terrestrial locomotion which gives the ability of species to walk completely on two legs which Homo Sapiens, known as modern humans, have the ability to do. This gave many special definitive features and traits to humans which have led to many advantages that we now contain today. In this essay I shall discuss…show more content…
Like people, but unlike apes, the bones of their pelvis, or hip region, were shortened from top to bottom and are more bowl-shaped (Lovejoy 1988). This made the pelvis more stable for support when standing or moving bipedally, as well as it allowed for the birth of large brained infants. The longer ape pelvis is adapted for quardrapedal locomotion. Modern humans’ centre of gravity lies over the feet and knees which lock. This allows the centre of gravity to sit between our feet allowing humans to stand on only two feet. Our feet can also bear more weight which allows our arms and hands to be free because they are not needed for weight bearing (Antón, Potts & Aiello 2014). Our other adaptations include the modification to our rib cage which is more barrel-shaped than that of a chimpanzee or other primate because humans’ centre of gravity is pulled back towards the S-shaped spine. Bipeds have an S-shaped spine instead of the quadrupeds’ C-shaped…show more content…
Our foramen magnum is positioned under our neck which enables us to walk upright while look ahead. (Wayman 2013). There are many other adaptations that have occurred which work together to form bipedal locomotion which allows humans to walk on two feet, but working from a skeleton alone is not always as easy to define a prehistorically hominin from another anthropoid ape (Dunsworth 2010). The main distinguishing character which would be evidence for bipedal locomotion therefore is the size of our brains which is much larger than other primates. Modern humans have a very high encephalization quotient (Antón, Potts & Aiello

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