The discovery of ancient bones of the foot belonged to Australopithecus afarensis The kind of “Lucy” shows that our ancestor already possessed the arch
A. afarensis The species lived between 3.7 and 2.9 million years ago to which he belonged as “Lucy” was a good walker, and had an upright gait biped. The discovery follows the discovery at the site of Hadar, Ethiopia, the foot bones of this species.
A group of researchers at the University of Missouri and Arizona State University led by Carol Ward has indeed found evidence that the arch was already present in our predecessor.
The bones found suggest that these hominids had a foot similar to that of modern man. Australopithecus afarensis had a smaller brain and a much more massive jaw and walked on two legs already, but scientists did not know if Lucy and her relatives had a more flexible lifestyle and spend more or less time in trees.
“The arches are a key element of the walk as that of man, as they absorb the shock and provide a solid platform to push the foot forward. We now know that those with ‘flat feet’ with a poor development of the arc is affected by problems that affect on the skeleton. ”
“Now that we know that Lucy and her relatives had the arch, we infer several things about them: where they lived, what they ate and how to escape predators,” said Ward, lead author of ‘article published Science describing the discovery. “The development of the arches has been a fundamental change in the human condition, because it means the abandonment of the big toe grip to grab the branches, and indicates that our ancestors had finally abandoned his life among the trees in favor of the field .
Australopithecus afarensis was thus able to roam the land and leave the forest when it was necessary to obtain more food. With his strong jaw, he could exploit different kinds of food such as fruits, seeds, nuts, roots, but the new ability to live in open spaces would open new possibilities for food supply.
While passing much time in trees, Australopithecus afarensis had already developed efficient bipedal gait
The analysis of the footprints 3.6 million years ago by the ancient ancestors of our species, when they had to spend much of his life in the trees, indicating that in fact had already developed an efficient form of bipedalism similar to that of modern. He says a study by anthropologists of the University of Arizona and the City University of New York and published PLoS ONE.
Researchers analyzed the Laetoli footprints, surviving on a bed of fossilized ash, and attributed to members of the one species of the region that used the gait biped, Australopithecus afarensis, That belonged to the famous “Lucy“.
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