General, Research, Technology

How did monkeys learn to walk on two legs?

Millions of years ago, our distant ancestorsmoved with four limbs. In the course of evolution, they somehow learned to walk on two legs, but scientists still can not come to a consensus about the reason for upright posture. However, recently researchers from Germany have come one step closer to unraveling this mystery. They found and studied the bones of the humanoid apes that lived on our planet about 11.6 million years ago. The structure of their body hints at the fact that initially they learned to walk with their feet through the trees, and then, most likely, they began to walk along the ground.

This is how baboons look - we will mention them a little lower

Scientists for hundreds of years can not understand the reasonupright people due to the fact that the bones of our distant ancestors are very poorly preserved to this day. In the mid-20th century, paleontologists managed to unearth fragments of the skeleton of primates living 13 million years ago, but the bones of the limbs were almost always damaged. This was the main problem in the reconstruction of the methods of movement of ancient monkeys. But, despite this, scientists still had some assumptions.

How did bipedalism come about?

For example, in the study of bones of those living more than 4.4million years of ardipithecus (Ardipithecus ramidus), paleontologists have found that our distant ancestors were able to walk with both four limbs and two. Perhaps walking on two legs arose as the ancient primates moved between trees, hanging on branches with the help of two or four limbs.

So looked Ardipithecus ramidus according to the artist

Recently, researchers from TubingenUniversity (Germany), shared a new theory of the occurrence of upright posture in humans. Between 2011 and 2018 in the south of Germany, they found the remains of a skeleton of primates of the species Danuvius guggenmosi who lived 11.6 million years ago. In particular, they studied the ulnar, femoral and tibia, as well as the vertebrae of our distant ancestors. The excellent preservation of the bones of the arms and legs allowed scientists to restore the appearance of ancient primates.

Humanoid Monkey Bones Danuvius guggenmosi

According to the scientific journal Nature, apparently thesethe ancestors of gorillas and humans were like modern baboons. Their growth reached 110 centimeters, and most of their time they spent on trees. They had rather long arms, a flexible elbow joint and strong fingers for grabbing branches - these features are today inherent in many humanoid monkeys.

Monkeys Danuvius guggenmosi lived more than 11.6 million years ago

And here are the legs of the ancient monkeys Danuvius guggenmosiwere more like human ones. The structure of the femur and tibia hinted to scientists that these creatures sometimes moved on two legs, and not on bent ones like chimpanzees and gorillas, but on straight ones. The big toes had good strength, so scientists came to the conclusion that the monkeys that lived millions of years ago could easily move along the branches of trees with two legs.

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It is likely the next step in evolutionprimates began to walk upright not on trees, but on the ground. However, this theory has not yet been proven by anything - for this, paleontologists need to unearth more fossilized bones of ancient primates. It is desirable that they be minimally damaged by time.