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ANT203 - 31 January 2012 .pdf

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Xueda Song

Bipedalism and Early Homininsrecall mosaic evolutionderived and primitive traitscranial encephalization dietpostcranial bipedalismthe bipedal adaptationearliest hominins from Africa around 6 mya onwardsmost became extinctwhy direct ancestorsbipedal adaptation suggests most dramatic changes occurred in the pelvisrecall early feet welldeveloped arches considerable flexibility in the ankle suggesting climbing adducted big toemore rigidtightly joined tarsal bonesmore stability less flexibility prebipedalism why be arborealfood safety esp at nightthis explains why early hominins would have kept some arboreal characteristicssee anatomical features associated with bipedalismwhy did hominins become bipedal carrying objects tools weapons infants proposed by Darwinupright posture frees arms to cary objects or offspringhunting bipedalism allowed for carrying of weapons more accurate throwing of certain weapons and improved longdistance walkingsystematic hunting is now thought not to have been practiced until after the origin of bipedal hominins seed and nut gatheringfeeding on seeds and nuts occurred while standing uprightmodel initially drawn from analogy with gelada baboons feeding from bushesupright posture provided access to seeds berries etc in lower branches analogous to adaptation seen in some specialized antelopeclimbing adaptation already existed as prior ancestral trait in earliest hominins ie bush and tree feeding was established before bipedal adaptation so this hypothesis is unlikely thermoregulationvertical posture exposes less of the body to direct sun increased distance from ground facilitates cooling by increased exposure to breezesworks best for animals active midday on savanna adaptation to bipedalism may have initially occurred in woodlands not on savannavisual surveillance standing up provided better view of surrounding countryside view of potential predators as well as other group members
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