Man began walking six million years ago

March 21st, 2008 - 5:39 pm ICT by admin  


Washington, March 21 (IANS) The latest and most authentic findings indicate that our remote ancestors learnt to walk six million years ago. The new findings are based on the first thorough analysis of a bit of fossil - a fragmentary piece of femur discovered in Kenya in 2000 by a French research team.

The fossil belongs to very early human ancestors who first walked upright - right after the split between human and chimpanzee lineages, according to researchers at Stony Brook University.

Their findings have been published in latest issue of the journal Science.

The analysis included a large and diverse sample of bones from apes, other early hominins or pre-humans, including Australopithecus, and modern humans of all body sizes.

“This research solidifies the evidence that the human lineage split off as far back as six million years ago … and that our ancestors were walking upright at the time,” said the researchers.

The challenge ahead, explained William Jungers, one of the researchers, is “to identify what precipitated the change from this ancient and successful adaptation of upright walking and climbing, to our own obligate form of bipedalism (walking)”.

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