Development of Bipedalism and Human Intelligence – Essay Example
The paper "Development of Bipedalism and Human Intelligence" is an excellent example of an anthropology essay.
Habitual bipedalism is not only the fastest and efficient walking mode, but it also has advantages over certain specialized quadrupedalism forms. Homo sapiens are the only extant primates with the ability to walk habitually and to have a striding gait while walking unlike the wadding gait of chimpanzees. Bipedalism occurred before brain development and culture but after terrestriality. Around 10 million years ago, the earth entered a cooler and drier phase. This change led to African tropical forest being replaced first by open grassland and eventually by desert (Byrne 21). These changes led to primates being exposed to predators from which they had been safe previously.
These environmental pressures led to the favour of bipedalism among them include; development of intelligence. This result gave the hominids a more efficient locomotion means and a greater eye elevation to see approaching danger far off. In addition, it freed the forelimbs from the walking task making the hands available for other tasks such as food gathering (Byrne 32). At some point, bipedal primates developed handedness thus giving them the ability to pick up sticks and bones and use them as tools for tasks like cutting carcasses and cracking nuts.
Bipedalism of early was stimulated by a number of factors which includes environmental factors. The evolution of early man developed and functioned differently from about five million years ago. Thus brain size and intelligence correlate. Nevertheless, Homo Floresiensis seemingly used fire and made tools like their ancestor Homo erectus despite their three times smaller brain. In this case, it is evident that for intelligence, the structure of the brain is more important than its volume.