Evolution of bipedalism (walking on two legs)

Evolution of bipedalism (walking on two legs)

As the forests shrank, it would have become harder and more time-consuming for individuals to find food.

One theory, suggested by anthropologist C. Owen Lovejoy of Kent State University, says “a mutually beneficial arrangement evolved: males gathered food for females and their young and in return females mated exclusively with their providers. To be successful providers, males needed their arms and hands-free to carry food, and thus bipedalism evolved.”

Another theory considers the efficiency of upright walking. In the 1980s, Peter Rodman and Henry McHenry, both at the University of California, Davis, suggested that “…as forests shrank, hominid ancestors found themselves descending from the trees to walk across stretches of grassland that separated forest patches”. The most energetically efficient way to walk on the ground was on two legs, Rodman and McHenry argued.

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