Health Editor’s Note: Bones have been found that show that the ape that eventually led to man did not necessarily walk using four limbs. Examining the structure of the bone fragments found for four individual apes, showed that D. guggenmosi used two limbs to walk. This never before discovered species has put a cog in the idea that the evolution of man involved knuckle walking of the top limbs. Perhaps we are on the correct trail of human evolution?…..Carol
New Ancient Ape Species Rewrites the Story of Bipedalism
by Andrea Michelson/Smithsonian.com
The picture is on T-shirts, coffee mugs and bumper stickers: the ubiquitous but misinformed image of the evolution of humankind. A knuckle-walking ape rouses himself to stand on two feet, and over a 25-million-year “March of Progress,” he becomes a modern man.
Most paleoanthropologists will tell you that this version of evolution is oversimplified, misleading or just plain wrong. The theory that the last common ancestor of humans and apes walked on its knuckles like a chimpanzee is not supported by the fossil record, although it has seen popularity in scientific discourse. David Begun, a paleoanthropologist at the University of Toronto, used to be an outspoken proponent of the knuckle-walking hypothesis, until he was asked to consult on a newly discovered fossil that would challenge his assumptions about early hominid locomotion.
When Madelaine Böhme, a researcher at the University of Tübingen in Germany, unearthed the partial skeleton of an ancient ape at the Hammerschmiede clay pit in Bavaria, she knew she was looking at something special. Compared to fragments, an intact partial skeleton can tell paleoanthropologists about a creature’s body proportions and how its anatomy might have functioned…..