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Anthropologists once thought that the ancestors of modern [#permalink]
22 Apr 2006, 19:08
Anthropologists once thought that the ancestors of modern humans began to walk upright because it freed their hands to use stone tools, which they had begun to make as the species evolved a brain of increased size and mental capacity. But discoveries of the three-million-year-old fossilized remains of our hominid ancestor Australopithecus have yielded substantial anatomical evidence that upright walking appeared prior to the dramatic enlargement of the brain and the development of stone tools.
Walking on two legs in an upright posture (bipedal locomotion) is a less efficient proposition than walking on all fours (quadrupedal locomotion) because several muscle groups that the quadruped uses for propulsion must instead to (?) provide the biped with stability and control. The shape and configuration of various bones must likewise be modified to allow the muscles to perform these functions in upright walking. Reconstruction of the pelvis (hipbones) and femur (thighbone) of â€œLucyâ€