Friday, January 29, 2010

Bipedalism and Tool Use: Connected?

It has been generally thought that the evolution of bipedality, which we now suspect took place in a forested environment sometime between 4.5 and 5.0 megayears ago, spurred on the invention of and use of stone tools such as the Oldowan and Developed Oldowan. Now it is being suggested that this link is greater than originally thought:
"This goes back to Darwin''s The Descent of Man," said Campbell Rolian, a scientist from the University of Calgary in Canada who led the study.

"Charles Darwin was among the first to consider the relationship between stone tool technology and bipedalism," he said.

"His idea was that they were separate events and they happened sequentially - that bipedalism freed the hand to evolve for other purposes," he added.

"What we showed was that the changes in the hand and foot are similar developments and changes in one would have side-effects manifesting in the other," he explained.
The connexion gets stronger.

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