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Human ancestors walked on two legs 7 million years ago

Human ancestors walked on two legs 7 million years ago

Human ancestors walked on two legs 7 million years ago

One of the hominins The oldest known, ancestor of current humans, was already walking on two legs 7 million years ago, shortly after its lineage separated from that of chimpanzees, according to a study published this Wednesday in the journal Nature.

The analysis of a forearm bone and two femurs of Sahelanthropus tchadensis found in an excavation in Toros Menalla (Chad) in 2001 supports the conclusions that scientists had already reached from a skull unearthed at the same location.

These hominins could stand upright on the ground, although they still retained the necessary bone structures to climb trees, underlines the study from the University of Poitiers (France) and Harvard University (United States).

The orientation and position of the occipital foramen in the skull found two decades ago – the hole where the vertebral column is inserted – had already suggested to paleontologists that individuals from Toros Menalla used two legs as a form of locomotion.

Three other bones have now been studied that were found in the same area and that are also attributed to Sahelanthropus tchadensis, since no other large primates have been detected in the place.

Guillaume Daver and his team have collected a battery of biometric measurements and biomechanical indicators and have compared them with fossils of other living and extinct apes – chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, Miocene apes and various members of the human lineage: Ardipithecus, Orrorin, australopithecines and Homo sapiens-.

Their results indicate that bipedalism coexisted among Sahelanthrhopus with quadrupedism in arboreal environments.

“All the data reinforce the idea of ​​bipedal locomotion at a very early stage in human history, even if other forms of locomotion were also practiced at that stage,” the authors of the paper describe in a statement from the University of Poitiers.

Source: Elcomercio

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