Fossilized ape pelvis suggests human ancestors walked upright much earlier than previously thought

| | October 10, 2019
rudapithecus pelvis fossil se p d ea aa e a c fb df b f fit w
A Rudapithecus pelvis fossil, center, overlain on a skeleton of a siamang, compared with a macaque on the left and orangutan on the right. Image: University of Missouri
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Scientists have long thought that humans evolved from an ape that moved about on all fours like a chimpanzee, and they’ve puzzled over how and when our distant ancestors came to walk on two feet.

A fossilized pelvis of Rudapithecus, a long-extinct relative of humans and modern apes, may hold the answer. New research on the fragmentary remains suggests that when the beagle-sized ape descended from the trees, she didn’t knuckle-walk like chimps or gorillas, as previously thought. Rather, she stood upright on two legs — much like a human.

“We’ve always asked, ‘Why did our lineage evolve? Why did we stand up from all fours?’ But Rudapithecus begs the question: ’Why did we never drop down on all fours in the first place?’” said Carol Ward, a professor of anatomy at the University of Missouri School of Medicine in Columbia, and lead author of a paper about the research published Sept. 17 in the Journal of Human Evolution.

Related article:  Were Neanderthals doomed by their inbreeding?

“It causes us to approach the fossil record and our understanding of our origins in a fundamentally different way than we ever have before,” she added. “It’s a game-changer. The textbooks now get to be rewritten.”

Read full, original post: Ancient ape fossil yields surprising new insights about human evolution

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
a a b b a f ac a

Video: Death by COVID: The projected grim toll in historical context

The latest statistics, as of July 10, show COVID-19-related deaths in U.S. are just under 1,000 per day nationally, which is ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
breastfeeding bed x facebook x

Infographic: We know breastfeeding helps children. Now we know it helps mothers too

When a woman becomes pregnant, her risk of type 2 diabetes increases for the rest of her life, perhaps because ...
biotechnology worker x

Can GMOs rescue threatened plants and crops?

Some scientists and ecologists argue that humans are in the midst of an "extinction crisis" — the sixth wave of ...
food globe x

Are GMOs necessary to feed the world?

Experts estimate that agricultural production needs to roughly double in the coming decades. How can that be achieved? ...
eating gmo corn on the cob x

Are GMOs safe?

In 2015, 15 scientists and activists issued a statement, "No Scientific consensus on GMO safety," in the journal Environmental Sciences ...
Screen Shot at PM

Charles Benbrook: Agricultural economist and consultant for the organic industry and anti-biotechnology advocacy groups

Independent scientists rip Benbrook's co-authored commentary in New England Journal calling for reassessment of dangers of all GMO crops and herbicides ...
Screen Shot at PM

ETC Group: ‘Extreme’ biotechnology critic campaigns against synthetic biology and other forms of ‘extreme genetic engineering’

The ETC Group is an international environmental non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Canada whose stated purpose is to monitor "the impact of emerging technologies and ...
Share via
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend