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Subject Evolution of Bipedal Locomotion What are we To the biologist we are members of a sub-species called Homo sapiens sapiens which represents a division of the species known as Homo sapiens The most interesting aspect about our species is that we are able to and can walk upright on our hind legs at all times This is defiantly not the usual way of getting around for a mammal The view of evolution is to see it as the product of steady environmental pressure exerted on each species improving its adaptation to its habitat This pressure which has been termed natural selection is responsible for this Natural selection works on the premise that in any population no two individuals are exactly alike Most of the differences between them are inherited from their parents and are thus capable of being passed along to the next generation Each generation will be slightly different from the one before it and a little better adapted to the prevailing condition Hand 1993 Habitually walking around on the hindlimbs leaving the forelimbs free for other jobs is an unusual mode of locomotion Once our ancestors had adopted an upright stance many things associated with being human became possible such as fine manipulation with the hands and the carrying of food back to a base camp Leakey 1981 This does not suggest that some four million years or so ago primitive hominids evolved upright walking in order to use their hands in refined ways or to develop a food-sharing economy Indeed this cannot be the case because these behaviors did not arise until several million years after the development of upright walking Nevertheless the origin of bipedalism must be seen as one of the major steps if not the major step in human evolution A principle characteristic of the earliest hominids was probably the adoption of an upright posture and a certain way of walking with
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