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Bipedalism Thesis - Referencing Youtube Videos In Essays

The Evolution of Bipedalism

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PhD Thesis Marbulu09 | Bipedalism | Technology

One of the earliest defining human traits, bipedalism -- the ability to walk on two legs -- evolved over 4 million years ago. Other important human characteristics -- such as a large and complex brain, the ability to make and use tools, and the capacity for language -- developed more recently. Many advanced traits -- including complex symbolic expression, art, and elaborate cultural diversity -- emerged mainly during the past 100,000 years.

Kuliukas, A. (2002). Wading for food the driving force of the evolution of bipedalism? (4), 267-89.

The first hypothesis is the postural feeding hypothesis that was formulated by a scientist known as Kevin D. Hunt. The hypothesis suggests that the postures that were taken by the hominid while gathering food such as hanging of the arms and climbing vertically on the trees were sufficient to influence not only the human anatomy but also his stance to that of an upright one hence the bipedalism. He suggested that almost eighty percent of the human bipedalism adaptation came from their feeding habits that involved hanging of the arms and maintaining the posture almost ninety percent of the time. Fruit gathering by the early man made him develop the torso formation and his adaptations to arm hanging also increased and developed. As Hunt suggests, early man thus developed his arboreal bipedal fruit gathering from here and from there the specialized bipedalism evolved over time to become a habit (Wheeler, 1994).

112me0256 thesis | Bipedalism | Walking

Another theory is that of the Behavioral model that was developed by Owen C. Lovejoy. He suggested that man’s social behavior was what led him to become a bipedal. Lovejoy focused his study on the social behaviors that influenced survival and birth. Lovejoy hypothesized that early man’s sexual behavior and anatomy implied a monogamous structure of mating and that this was seen as a social requirement for the males. The behavior of selecting of the ideal mates by how they walked was pushed further by having the idea that if a male used the upper limbs to carry food to a companion, the mate viewed it as a strong selection factor for creation of offspring due to the bipedality. This showed that the offspring shall survive longer, shall be stronger and shall have a better reproductive rate than its parents had. Thus, all males tried to walk on two limbs to get mates (Hunt, 1994).

P. E. Wheeler also came with another hypothesis about the thermoregulatory model. This theory proposed that as the temperatures in early man’s geographical location increased, he tried to reduce the effects of the heat, heat gain and try as much as possible to dissipate the heat. The science behind the hypothesis was that the upward walking position reduced the surface area of the of sun’s impact on the body while raising the body surface higher above the ground to meet the cooler and faster wind speeds. The increased wind speeds further translated to higher heat loss through convection. He theorized also that the bipedalism reduced the rate of water loss by reducing the evaporative cooling temperatures thus helping in the retention of body water. The vertical posture that man took also reduced the rate of direct solar exposure when the sun was the hottest and with the highest radiation.

The Evolution of Bipedalism | Accurate Essays

Bipedalism is a form of locomotion that involves a living organism moving by means of two limbs. These limbs or legs are mostly the rear ones and the type of motion qualifies the living organism to be called a biped. The types of movements that bipeds can make are running, walking and hopping. Humans can perform all these movements by virtue of them being bipeds. There are several hypotheses of how and why humans developed to become bipeds according to the evolution theory some of which shall be discussed in this essay. The development of the bipedal locomotion and an upright posture by the early hominids was critical for their survival since they used their fore limbs to search for food.

In the analysis of these competing hypotheses, timing is key since the activities of the early man differed according to the time in which he lived. All the hypotheses discussed above show that man himself went through several pressures that led to his bipedalism state, for instance, access to food, survivorship, provisioning and offspring increase, just to name a few, all of which make much sense. Thus, the best way to go about it is by following up on fossil records. If this is done, the timings can be compared to the pressures that the hypotheses claim man to have gone through and if they happened in their corresponding ages. Though all schools of thought present plausible arguments on the reason behind man’s rise to bipedalism through the pressures he went through, the determining factor is matching the conditions that he went through to the time bipedalism appears in fossil records.

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  • Bipedalism: Australopithecines, morphology and theories

    Skoyles, J. R. (2006). Human balance, the evolution of bipedalism and dysequilibrium syndrome. (6), 1060-1068.

  • Bipedalism Model Evaluation - Waterside-Hypotheses

    Wheeler, P.E. (1994). The evolution of bipedality and loss of functional body hair in hominids. (1), 91-98.

  • Compare the three major hypotheses for the origin of bipedalism.

    Hypotheses on Bipedalism

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Bipedalism Essay - 1328 Words - StudyMode

Among the three hypotheses discussed in this paper, all have been criticized fully. However, the choice to make on which theory to believe is a personal one and any school of thought that one feels is most relevant to them is what is best to choose. The thermoregulatory model hypothesis involved the shifting of man’s walking style to an upright one due to the temperature changes. However, criticism on the hypothesis queries of the rest of the time when the sun was not hot and the sun would reach more of the bipedal man’s body than the quadruped one. Another criticism of the hypothesis is why has there been no other quadruped that evolved to bipedals to escape the scorching of the sun. Another criticism to the thermoregulatory model hypothesis is where fossil records indicate that most of the early men lived in forested areas where there was tree cover and vegetation that shielded them from the effects of the sun.

Bipedalism is an ability of an organism to walk on two rear limbs

The first one will be “What is meant by the terms lumper and splitter with respect to Homo Habilis and Homo Erectus? Look over these two species and explain the evidence and how you would classify them.” The second one will be “There are 4 important areas to be answered from chapter 10 depending on your last name! Write in your own words a summarization from the book or from online research from academic sites only! If your last name starts with the letter A-G answer this question for us: Compare the three major hypotheses for the origin of bipedalism. Which one do you think best explains it? H-M: Explain the anatomical characteristics of hominids that reflect bipedalism. Which characteristic is most important to upright walking in your mind? N-S: Describe the differences in anatomy between the robust and gracile australopithecines. Do you think they should be separated into different lineages with the Robust line called paranthropines. You may need to look this up online to answer. T-Y: Discuss the argument and evidence that australopithecines rather than early Homo were the first tool-producers. What do you think? (my last name is Wu)”

Aquatic ape hypothesis - Wikipedia

The Behavioral model hypothesis has also received criticism. The flaw in it is said to be where it only explains the bipedality of one sex only, the male. In addition, in the fossil records there proves to be no record of monogamy in the early man society. The fossils show proof of sexual dimorphism. This means that the early man did not have just one mate but several and in different areas thus a system known as a polygynous mating system. There is also no proof of a permanent home area that they based themselves. Fossil records show that the hominids were in constant motion moving from place to place.

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