Saturday, March 08, 2003

CHIMPANZEES AREN'T BUILT FOR WALKING

Evolutionary Difference, 2 Legs or 4

...Chimpanzees lope along carrying an infant on one arm, using two feet and the other hand to propel themselves....

Human beings are members of a group of animals called primates, which includes animals like monkeys, gibbons, baboons, gorillas, chimpanzees. But we are the only true bipeds of the bunch.

Most primates spend much of their time in trees, and so are suited to life above ground. Gibbons swing from limb to limb, hanging by long, strong arms and using powerful hand grips. Moving along the tops of branches, they run on two legs.

Chimpanzees and gorillas, when on the ground, walk on their knuckles. But they often rise to stand nearly upright. Anyone who's ever seen a movie chimp dressed in human clothes knows that chimpanzees can walk on two legs.

But it isn't their preferred method of getting around - they simply aren't built for it.

Human beings, on the other hand, possess nearly perfect bodies for a two-legged lifestyle. We have straight spines. Chimpanzees have spines that bend at an angle to their hips....