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New View of Human Evolution? 3.2 Million-Year-Old Fossil Foot Bone Supports Humanlike Bipedalism in Lucy's Species

Thanks to Alex for the link.

original link
ScienceDaily (Feb. 11, 2011)

A fossilized foot bone recovered from Hadar, Ethiopia, shows that by 3.2 million years ago human ancestors walked bipedally with a modern human-like foot, a report that appears Feb. 11 in the journal Science, concludes. The fossil, a fourth metatarsal, or midfoot bone, indicates that a permanently arched foot was present in the species Australopithecus afarensis, according to the report authors, Carol Ward of the University of Missouri, together with William Kimbel and Donald Johanson, of Arizona State University's Institute of Human Origins.

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"Understanding that the foot arches appeared very early in our evolution shows that the unique structure of our feet is fundamental to human locomotion," observes Ward. "If we can understand what we were designed to do and how natural selection shaped the human skeleton, we can gain insight into how our skeletons work today. Arches in our feet were just as important for our ancestors as they are for us."

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TAGGED: EVOLUTION


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