Navigation Links
Early parents didn't stand for weighty kids
Date:4/23/2008

Scientists investigating the reasons why early humans the so-called hominins began walking upright say its unlikely that the need to carry children was a factor, as has previously been suggested.

Carrying babies that could no longer use their feet to cling to their parents in the way that young apes can has long been thought to be at least one explanation as to why humans became bipedal.

But University of Manchester researchers investigating the energy involved in carrying a child say the physical expense to the mother does not support the idea that walking upright was an evolutionary response to child transportation.

Walking upright is one of the major characteristics that separates humans from their primate relatives, said Dr Jo Watson, who carried out the research in the Universitys Faculty of Life Sciences.

Scientists have long hypothesised as to the reasons why hominins became bipedal in a relatively short space of time but the truth is we still dont know for sure.

One of the more popular explanations is that walking upright freed our forelimbs allowing us to carry objects, including children; apes have no need to carry their young as they are able to grip using both hands and feet.

Our study focused on the amount of energy required to carry 10kg loads, including a mannequin child. Importantly, the distribution of the weight varied in each instance.

The team monitored the oxygen consumption of seven women, all healthy individuals under the age of 30, carrying either a symmetric load, in the form of a weighted vest or a 5kg dumbell in each hand, or an asymmetric load, which was a single 10kg weight carried in one hand or a mannequin infant on one hip.

Carrying an awkward asymmetric load, such as the infant on one side of the body, is the most energetically expensive way of transporting the weight, said Dr Watson, whose research is published in the Journal of Human Evolution.

Unless infant carrying resulted in significant benefits elsewhere, the high cost of carrying an asymmetrical weight suggests that infant carrying was unlikely to have been the evolutionary driving force behind bipedalism.

The study, carried out with colleagues at the Universities of Sheffield and Salford and funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), is part of a larger project, run by Dr Bill Sellers at The University of Manchester, which uses computer simulations to understand evolutionary processes, particularly the way in which we and other animals move.

Future plans are to extend this work to assess the energy cost of carrying in great apes. Computer models of early hominins carrying loads will also be built to try and evaluate whether their body shape and posture long arms and short legs would have made them noticeably better or worse at carrying than present-day humans. The research team hopes this will help build up a picture of how humans evolved to walk on two legs.


'/>"/>

Contact: Aeron Haworth
aeron.haworth@manchester.ac.uk
44-161-275-8383
University of Manchester
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. 60 second test could help early diagnosis of common brain diseases
2. Restless legs syndrome affects nearly 2 percent of US/UK children
3. Bleeding, not inflammation, is major cause of early lung infection death
4. Pig study sheds new light on the colonisation of Europe by early farmers
5. Color contrast is seen by the brain early doors
6. Extra gene copies were enough to make early humans mouths water
7. Was ability to run early mans Achilles heel?
8. New technique can be breakthrough for early cancer diagnosis
9. Yam bean a nearly forgotten crop
10. NIH awards nearly $23M to University of Chicago for translational research
11. Yam bean a nearly forgotten crop
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Early parents didn't stand for weighty kids
(Date:4/13/2017)... April 13, 2017 According to a new market ... Identity Analytics, Identity Administration, and Authorization), Service, Authentication Type, Deployment Mode, Vertical, ... Market is expected to grow from USD 14.30 Billion in 2017 to ... of 17.3%. ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... , Apr. 11, 2017 Research and ... Market 2017-2021" report to their offering. ... The global eye tracking market to grow at a ... report, Global Eye Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on ... covers the market landscape and its growth prospects over the coming ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... April 11, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... company, announces the appointment of independent Directors Mr. Robin ... its Board of Directors, furthering the company,s corporate governance and ... Gino Pereira ... look forward to their guidance and benefiting from their considerable ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), the ... (UAA), the unifying voice for collegiate aviation education, are launching a joint UAS ... success through a STEM-based education platform. , Much like the program currently available ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... June 21, 2017 , ... RMC Pharmaceutical ... and engages Timothy Reinhardt to manage the new site. , Tim has 25 ... with his most recent role as the Director of Manufacturing and Supplier Quality ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... June 22, 2017 , ... ... specialists DST Diagnostische Systeme & Technologien GmbH, thereby expanding its product portfolio to ... from hay fever, urticaria, asthma, atopic eczema or a food allergy. Allergies are ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... 2017 , ... For the months of May and June, ... series on “Cell Therapy Regulation” for its regenerative medicine followship. The ... regulatory challenges of stem cell medical research. , Stem cell clinical trials present ...
Breaking Biology Technology: