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Early Humans Walked Perculiarly
Discovery News ^ | 2-28-2006 | Jennifer Viegas

Posted on 02/28/2006 11:27:44 AM PST by blam

Early Humans Walked Peculiarly?

By Jennifer Viegas
Discovery News

Evidence In The Bones

Feb. 27, 2006 — At least two species of early humans were knock-kneed and walked rather uniquely, according to a new study on seven anklebones that belonged to various early human ancestors from eastern and southern Africa.

The study, which will be published in the April issue of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, suggests that although the early humans walked on two feet, they did not always do so with our relatively smooth stride.

"This is hard to explain, but easy to demonstrate," said Dan Gebo, who co-authored the paper with Gary Schwartz, an Arizona State University anthropologist.

Gebo told Discovery News that modern humans, and our more recent ancestors, possess a walking technique that first involves the heel hitting the ground. As the body moves over the foot, the person stands on one foot while the other foot is starting to swing forward. We then "toe off as we go through a normal stride."

Gebo, a Northern Illinois University anthropologist, then explained that muscular early humans, called robust australopithecines, who lived between 2 and 1.4 million years ago, had a different gait.

"The robust australopithecines have modified their upper ankle joint so that when the lower leg moves forward to stance phase, it must follow the track of the joint and this joint curves inward," he said. "It then must backtrack as the leg and foot push off at toe off."

Gebo added, "In short, the knee of robust australopithecines must move in and out during each stride. It would look like the knee is slightly bent, where ours is straight. The gait is less efficient, especially over long distance walkings or runnings."

The shape of the anklebones suggests that at least two early human species, Australopithecus robustus and Australopithecus boisei, walked in this unique manner. Both looked very apelike and furry.

While the researchers think such early human relatives "had some gait peculiarities," they believe the ability to walk on two feet (bipedality) evolved only once because it requires so many anatomical changes in the pelvis, knees, lower legs and feet.

"We find it difficult to believe that all of these changes could occur more than once," Gebo said.

The scientists think bipedality must have occurred very quickly in human evolution, particularly since there was no three-limbed transitional phase.

During the period of evolution, our ancestors lost their grasping big toe muscles. This "toe" in African apes, such as chimpanzees, helps in climbing trees. Gebo said we also developed platform-like, weight-bearing bodies, short toes, stocky foot bones and joints that can lock up so we do not need muscle power to remain erect.

Bruce Latimer, executive director of The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, told Discovery News that he agrees bipedality evolved no more than once within the human lineage, but he does not believe "that any non-pathological hominid ever walked with tibiae that inclined medially (knock-kneed)."

Latimer added, "Moreover, it is quite impossible to reconstruct such behavior from isolated bones. The authors have taken on the ambitious task of trying to make sense out of isolated anklebones. They have done a nice job but have, perhaps, pushed the functional analysis a little too far."

Gebo and Schwartz, however, plan to continue with their research to determine if their theorized knock-kneed gait might have conferred some unknown advantages.

Schwartz told Discovery News, "Paleoanthropologists have long been fascinated with the robust australopith phase of human evolution as they are one of the most highly specialized and derived group of fossil humans.

They have massive teeth, large, heavily constructed jawbones, and enormous chewing muscles, but they have always been thought of as fairly ‘standard-brand’ (for a hominin) from the neck down."

Schwartz added, "We know now, based on our work, that they were as interesting from the knee down as they are from the neck up."


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: crevolist; early; godsgravesglyphs; man; perculiarly; walked; walkedlikeegyptians; widestance
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1 posted on 02/28/2006 11:27:47 AM PST by blam
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To: SunkenCiv

GGG Ping.


2 posted on 02/28/2006 11:28:49 AM PST by blam
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To: blam

If humans evolved from apes, why are there still apes? Hummmm


3 posted on 02/28/2006 11:28:55 AM PST by TexasCajun
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To: blam

4 posted on 02/28/2006 11:29:34 AM PST by Recovering Hermit (Wake up and smell the enemy!)
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To: blam
Early Humans Walked Perculiarly

This was before the invention of toilet paper. Of course they walked funny!

5 posted on 02/28/2006 11:29:39 AM PST by MarineBrat (Talk is cheap because supply exceeds demand.)
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To: blam

Many people are still knock-kneed. Take William Petersen of CSI. He's so bow-legged I'm thinking he spent a lot of time on a horse when he was younger.


6 posted on 02/28/2006 11:31:34 AM PST by lilylangtree
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To: blam

7 posted on 02/28/2006 11:31:41 AM PST by PaulJ
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To: TexasCajun

"If humans evolved from apes, why are there still apes? "

Huh? That's one of the silly questions people who don't understand the Theory of Evolution ask.

Please do yourself a favor and read a little about evolution, and you'll be able to answer that question for yourself. It's been answered about 500 times so far in these threads.

Besides, humans are apes...taxonomically.


8 posted on 02/28/2006 11:31:44 AM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: blam

They walked like "looter man."


9 posted on 02/28/2006 11:31:57 AM PST by junta (It's Jihad stupid! Liberals, Jihadis and the Mexican elite all deserving of "preemption.")
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To: blam

the knee bone is connected to the ankle bone...


10 posted on 02/28/2006 11:32:12 AM PST by Rakkasan1 (Muslims pray to Allah, Allah prays to Chuck Norris.)
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To: MarineBrat

Oh the dreaded duck walk to the closet in the hall for more tp funny funny funny


11 posted on 02/28/2006 11:32:38 AM PST by al baby (Father of the Beeber)
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To: TexasCajun

"If humans evolved from apes, why are there still apes? Hummmm"

If Amerindians evolved from ancient Asians, why are there still Asians? Hummmm


12 posted on 02/28/2006 11:32:55 AM PST by sagar
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To: blam

13 posted on 02/28/2006 11:32:56 AM PST by Sofa King (A wise man uses compromise as an alternative to defeat. A fool uses it as an alternative to victory.)
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To: Recovering Hermit
Well, Hermit, you beat me to it, but I'll post it anyway...


14 posted on 02/28/2006 11:34:12 AM PST by southernnorthcarolina (I've upped my standards! Up yours!)
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To: blam
"At least two species of early humans were knock-kneed and walked rather uniquely.."

Out of the two species, how many examples did they look at? What was their n? One or two? It is hard to make a general statement about an entire species based on one or two individuals. Buyer beware!
15 posted on 02/28/2006 11:34:58 AM PST by tucker93
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To: blam

Latimer added, "Moreover, it is quite impossible to reconstruct such behavior from isolated bones. The authors have taken on the ambitious task of trying to make sense out of isolated anklebones. They have done a nice job but have, perhaps, pushed the functional analysis a little too far."

How much can they really tell from isolated bones?


16 posted on 02/28/2006 11:35:38 AM PST by mlc9852
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To: TexasCajun

"If humans evolved from apes, why are there still apes? Hummmm"

Same reason parents don't die because they had children.


17 posted on 02/28/2006 11:35:48 AM PST by MeanWestTexan (Many at FR would respond to Christ "Darn right, I'll cast the first stone!")
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To: blam

18 posted on 02/28/2006 11:36:03 AM PST by CarrotAndStick (The articles posted by me needn't necessarily reflect my opinion.)
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To: MineralMan

eep eep oop oop eep eep


19 posted on 02/28/2006 11:36:17 AM PST by HiTech RedNeck
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To: blam
We know now, based on our work, that they were as interesting from the knee down as they are from the neck up."

Gosh, he left all the good parts out:


20 posted on 02/28/2006 11:36:17 AM PST by Michael.SF. (Well, Kerry did win the exit polls.)
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To: blam

You know, now that I think about it, Hillary's ankles look pretty australopithecine. And very robustus.


21 posted on 02/28/2006 11:36:25 AM PST by mewzilla (Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist. John Adams)
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To: sagar

My Gran Pap was no dug gun asian !!!

He were a six toed slack jawed red neck booger eatin dumb ass inbreed jus like me!!!

heh


22 posted on 02/28/2006 11:36:45 AM PST by LesbianThespianGymnasticMidget (God punishes Conservatives by making them argue with fools.)
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Comment #23 Removed by Moderator

To: blam
Early Humans Walked Perculiarly

Aw, heck, so do I when I first get out of bed in the morning. That stagger from bed to shower is probably somewhat amusing. Especially on the mornings when I really don't want to get up and I walk into the wall.

24 posted on 02/28/2006 11:37:47 AM PST by Allegra (wear our the cats?)
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To: southernnorthcarolina

I've got bad news. Look at the post above yours :)


25 posted on 02/28/2006 11:39:03 AM PST by Sofa King (A wise man uses compromise as an alternative to defeat. A fool uses it as an alternative to victory.)
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To: blam

"... the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, suggests that although the early humans walked on two feet ..."

As opposed to what, three? Five?


26 posted on 02/28/2006 11:40:01 AM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: blam

I wonder if it was because they wore lightweight loafers?


27 posted on 02/28/2006 11:40:46 AM PST by HardStarboard
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To: tucker93
"Out of the two species, how many examples did they look at? What was their n? One or two?"

Too true.

Much of early hominid science came from the study a very complete (because he was intentionally buried in an isolated grave deep in a cave, a clear sign of sentience, but that's a different post) Neanderthal in France.

All the brainiacs of the day said: sloped shoulders! Bent legs! Ah, clearly a shambling wreck of a species!

Turns out the skeleton was of and OLD (like 90) year old "man" (man-like creature, anyway), so, of course, he was all bent over.

As an aside, his very age is also evidence of sentience --- he was clearly cared for by younger members of the tribe.
28 posted on 02/28/2006 11:40:47 AM PST by MeanWestTexan (Many at FR would respond to Christ "Darn right, I'll cast the first stone!")
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To: MineralMan
Please do yourself a favor and read a little about evolution

All the evolution I want to know about can be found in The Big Book, thank you very much.

29 posted on 02/28/2006 11:40:49 AM PST by TexasCajun
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To: blam
Wait a minute- how do we know they were walking peculiarly? Maybe we're waking peculiarly and they had it right in the first place.
30 posted on 02/28/2006 11:41:14 AM PST by Sofa King (A wise man uses compromise as an alternative to defeat. A fool uses it as an alternative to victory.)
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To: blam
Early Humans Walked Perculiarly

Later Humans Spelled Peculiarly

:-)

31 posted on 02/28/2006 11:41:20 AM PST by Charles Henrickson (I'm about to take a break from FR for Lent.)
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To: blam
"We find it difficult to believe that all of these changes could occur more than once," Gebo said. "

I find it difficult to believe that they could occur at all.

32 posted on 02/28/2006 11:41:40 AM PST by DannyTN
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To: RegulatorCountry
As opposed to what, three? Five?

Two feet and ten knuckles? :)

33 posted on 02/28/2006 11:41:52 AM PST by mewzilla (Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist. John Adams)
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To: blam
Robustus and boisei are not exactly "early humans." They're a branch off the trunk 'way back there and not very human-looking.
34 posted on 02/28/2006 11:41:52 AM PST by VadeRetro (Liberalism is a cancer on society. Creationism is a cancer on conservatism.)
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To: mewzilla

Or would that be eight knuckles?


35 posted on 02/28/2006 11:42:09 AM PST by mewzilla (Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist. John Adams)
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To: blam
You wanna see a peculiar walk????

Gimmee about four beers, then tell me to walk out to the next bar up the street.

Peeeee - Que - Leee - R to be sure!

36 posted on 02/28/2006 11:42:58 AM PST by LilDarlin (Being very feminine got me this far; it will take me the rest of the way, too!)
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To: RegulatorCountry

Four. Like, you know, other apes.


37 posted on 02/28/2006 11:43:07 AM PST by Sofa King (A wise man uses compromise as an alternative to defeat. A fool uses it as an alternative to victory.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

"eep eep oop oop eep eep"

woo hoo woo hoo woo hoo

Ugga booga!


38 posted on 02/28/2006 11:43:19 AM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: MineralMan
Besides, humans are apes...taxonomically.

And in the case of TROP, literally.

Well, OK, I don't really believe in evolution, but I still thought this was worth mentioning.
39 posted on 02/28/2006 11:45:25 AM PST by JamesP81
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To: blam

A million years from now, the only known fossil of Homo Sapiens will stun the scientists.

40 posted on 02/28/2006 11:45:34 AM PST by ClearCase_guy (E)
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To: TexasCajun

At this point, mainly because the upper echelon of humans are creating and managing wildlife preserves and zoos with breeding programs. Absent that, the lower echelons of humans would have exterminated every last one of them by now.


41 posted on 02/28/2006 11:48:36 AM PST by GovernmentShrinker
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To: blam
"Early Humans Walked Perculiarly"

Yeah, but look how well the suit fits!"

(old joke)

42 posted on 02/28/2006 11:49:20 AM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: Sofa King

"Four. Like, you know, other apes."

Apes had four feet? Who knew? /sarcasm


43 posted on 02/28/2006 11:50:35 AM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: Sofa King
I've got bad news. Look at the post above yours :)

Yeah, yeah. Saw it after I posted mine.

Interesting that Monty Python is still funny decades later, whereas other humor of the same approximate era (Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In for example), makes us wonder why anyone ever thought it was funny.

44 posted on 02/28/2006 11:53:10 AM PST by southernnorthcarolina (I've upped my standards! Up yours!)
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To: RegulatorCountry
HAHAHAHAahhh!!!!!

eesh. It's becoming impossible to keep a thread light and fun around here. Often you're immediately attacked by the "Pet agenda" bloggers....

45 posted on 02/28/2006 11:53:34 AM PST by Hi Heels (Don't you wish there were a knob on the TV to turn up the intelligence?)
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To: RegulatorCountry
Let's take a look:


46 posted on 02/28/2006 11:54:42 AM PST by Sofa King (A wise man uses compromise as an alternative to defeat. A fool uses it as an alternative to victory.)
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To: TexasCajun

Common misconception. Apes and humans are part of the same genus and the DNA evidence is hard to dispute. But the former are adapted to life as an ape, and we are adapted to whatever environment our ancestors found themselves in eons ago. Based on our lack of fur, large brain, subcutaneous fat layer, and slightly webbed fingers and toes (none of which modern apes have) I think we were adapted to life in the water. But hey, it's only a theory.


47 posted on 02/28/2006 11:54:59 AM PST by katana
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To: MineralMan
To acknowledge a jammer or intruder confirms to them their effectiveness.
Ignoring them and continuing with normal traffic will often cause them to seek a softer target.
48 posted on 02/28/2006 11:56:06 AM PST by ASA Vet (Those who know don't talk, those who talk don't know.)
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To: Hi Heels

"Often you're immediately attacked by the "Pet agenda" bloggers..."

Well, I certainly didn't mean to step on any toes, especially not the quadrupedal apes, lol.


49 posted on 02/28/2006 11:56:57 AM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: Sofa King

Nice opposable toes, there.


50 posted on 02/28/2006 11:57:48 AM PST by RegulatorCountry
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