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  1. #1
    lewisipso's Avatar
    lewisipso is offline Injustice/Indifference/In God we trust
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    Orangutan study suggests early walking on two legs

    Orangutan study suggests early walking on two legs By Will Dunham
    Thu May 31, 4:02 PM ET



    The way orangutans navigate fragile tree branches in search of fruit has led scientists to propose that human ancestors with similar lifestyles may have begun walking on two legs earlier than previously thought.

    Three British scientists, writing on Thursday in the journal Science, suggested that bipedal walking arose in arboreal apes 17 to 24 million years ago, rather than between 4 and 8 million years ago as a leading hypothesis indicates.

    The study by Susannah Thorpe and Roger Holder of the University of Birmingham and Robin Crompton of the University of Liverpool focused on a vital question in human evolution -- how human ancestors came to walk on two legs rather than four.

    Upright walking on two legs is seen as a defining human characteristic.

    A leading evolutionary hypothesis has held that apes ancestral to chimpanzees, gorillas and people descended from the trees and began walking on the ground on all fours. In time, this hypothesis holds, they began "knuckle walking" like modern chimpanzees and gorillas, then later evolved the upright, bipedal gait of people.

    But observations of wild orangutans navigating tree branches on two legs led these researchers to propose that bipedalism arose much earlier -- perhaps shortly after apes split evolutionarily from monkeys roughly 24 million years ago, assuming a specialized niche of tree-dwelling fruit eaters.

    Thorpe spent a year in Indonesia's Sumatran rain forest painstakingly recording the movements of the orangutans.

    "I followed them from when they woke up in the morning to when they made their night nest in the evening," Thorpe told reporters.

    Orangutans spend their lives in the forest canopy, and fashion nests every night from leaves and branches at the tops of trees.

    TASTY FRUIT

    She observed how orangutans walked on two legs in the trees to reach fruit on the most fragile branches, using their arms to keep balance or grasp for food. They walked on all fours mostly on larger, sturdier branches.

    "Our results are important because we have shown how bipedalism could have evolved in the original ape habitat, to navigate the very smallest branches where the tasty fruits are, and the smallest gaps between tree crowns," Thorpe said.

    Orangutans, found only on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, belong to the family of great apes along with chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas. They are collectively the closest human relatives.

    The red-haired orangutans are the only strictly arboreal ape. They eat fruit, tender leaves and the occasional bug.

    "As the only great ape which remains in the ancestral ape niche (arboreal fruit eaters), orangutans are therefore a vital model for the understanding of the evolution of limb adaptation in apes," Crompton said.

    The researchers said as the rain forest in eastern and central Africa receded due to climate changes near the close of the Miocene epoch, which ended 5 million years ago, arboreal apes that already had acquired the ability to walk on two legs were forced to spend more time on the ground.

    They proposed that apes in the evolutionary line that led to people descended to the ground, remaining bipedal.

    Apes ancestral to chimpanzees and gorillas evolved differently, specializing in vertical tree climbing between the tall trees and the ground, and developing knuckle walking when dashing on the ground from one tree to another.




    Ummm...sure. I was passing through the zoo just the other day and an Orangutan evolved right there. He requested me to let him out because he needed to pick up his dry cleaning and was late for a meeting. You know, because they are still evolving and all.

    By the way can anyone tell me what a giraffe evolves into? Google seems to be stumped.
    Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me

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  2. #2
    k-9max's Avatar
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    We dont have money for our soldiers, but we have money for this stupid Shit. Unreal!!!!!!!!!!!

    lewisipso, aww, nevermind lol
    YEAH, IM THE BERRIES, AND CHERRIES IN YOUR REAR VIEW MIRROR.

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    Eat it, Play with it, or piss on it, and walk away!

    As smart as man is, we haven't been able to invent a machine that can smell drugs or tell us where a person has walked, Dogs are sophisticated investigative tools!

  3. #3
    lewisipso's Avatar
    lewisipso is offline Injustice/Indifference/In God we trust
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    Yeah ya right!
    Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me

    We are who we choose to be.

    R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012


  4. #4
    countybear's Avatar
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    "Our results are important because we have shown how bipedalism could have evolved in the original ape habitat, to navigate the very smallest branches where the tasty fruits are, and the smallest gaps between tree crowns," Thorpe said.

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  5. #5
    BEB
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    Reminds me of a story from awhile back.

    A five-year-old monkey at an Israeli zoo started walking exclusively on her hind legs after recovering from a serious illness.

    Natasha, a black macaque, almost died of a severe stomach flu about two weeks ago, say officials at the Safari Park zoo near Tel Aviv. She had difficulty breathing and her heart wasn't functioning properly.

    However, her condition stabilized and she was released from the zoo's clinic.

    Workers at the zoo say that's when she started walking upright exclusively. Monkeys usually alternate between upright walking and moving on all fours.

    A zoo veterinarian says he's not sure why she has altered her behaviour, speculating that the illness could have caused brain damage.
    So...bipedal = Humans and brain damaged monkeys.

 

 

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