Our ancestors could walk on two legs as early as 7 million years ago

La bipédie serait bien plus ancienne que ce que l'on pensait ! © Sabine Riffaut, Guillaume Daver, Franck Guy, Palevoprim, CNRS – Université de Poitiers

A recent analysis of the bones of members of the same genus as Toumaï, Sahelanthropus chadensis, Putting an end to an old debate: this human species that lived 7 million years ago walked on its two legs, but not all the time.

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The origins of bipolarity are still debated today. A long time ago it was still thought that Australopithecines, who lived three million years ago, were the first to possess this faculty. But, in 2001, when Toumaï, First representative ofspecies Sahelanthropus tsatensisDiscovered between 6.96 million and 7.43 million years ago, the question reopened: its form Skull Prescribed bipedal locomotion. When did humans start walking? A new study has been published Nature Thus its origin dates back more than 7 million years!

To get these results, a team of French and Chadian researchers have been studying three bones since 2004. Sahelanthropus tsatensis, Among them Ulna And one femur. According to scientists, it is impossible to know whether these three remains belong to the same person.

Sahelanthropus disartensis It was bipedal… but not only that!

Thanks for the many analyses, both External morphology and internal structure, the scientists obtained large amounts of data for each bone. This information was then compared with other living great apes “Chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, monkeys Miocene[mais aussi] Members of a human group (ororin, ArtipithecusAustralopithecines, Homo old, Homo sapiens)”Details a CNRS press release.

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The researchers found that based on the characteristics of femurThat Sahelanthropus Often there was BipolarEven on the ground trees ! The ulna shows that this hominid was sometimes quadrangular, indicating a particularly firm grasp of the hand. In this, Sahelanthropus tsatensis Unlike gorillas and chimpanzees, they move by leaning on themselves Again Theirs Phalanx.

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