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 Scientist: No knuckle-walkers in human ancestry
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2007 :  20:21:37  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A new hypothesis suggests that the first upright stance in human ancestors developed more than three times as long ago as previously thought. That would take bipedalism at least as far back as Morotopithecus bishopi, a possible ancestor of all modern apes and humans, which lived in Uganda more than 21 million years ago. And it could have all begun with one rather simple mutation.
In most creatures with a backbone, the body is separated roughly in half by a tissue structure that runs in front of the spinal canal. This "horizontal septum" divides the body into a dorsal part (corresponding to the back side of humans), and a ventral part (or the front half).

A strange birth defect in what may have been the first direct human ancestor led this septum to cross behind the spinal cord in the lumbar or lower back region-an odd configuration more typical of invertebrates. This would have made horizontal stances inefficient.

"Any mammal with this set of changes would only be comfortable standing upright," Filler said. "I would envision this malformed young 'hominiform'-the first true ancestral human-as standing upright from a young age," he added, while the rest of the mutant's family and species continued to walk around "on all fours."
According to Aaron Filler, bipedalism may have actually begun in the distant past, when our common ancestor was still in the trees. The knuckle-walking of modern apes may be a relatively recent avatistic adaptation by apes whose own ancestors walked upright.

Looks like that famous image the evolution of increasingly upright hominims will need yet another change. It's getting to where the main difference between the specimens on charts like that may be hat size.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.

Edited by - HalfMooner on 10/11/2007 00:33:32

filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2007 :  02:21:53   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I would not be in too big a hurry to accept this. I don't believe there is as yet enough evidence. A google on Morotopithecus bishopi produced this:
Timestone 3
20 million years ago

Morotopithecus bishopi

This is the earliest evidence so far of a primate that shares traits with modern apes and humans. Its upper jaw is like that of a primitive ape, but shoulder bones and vertebrae (spine bones) are more like those of modern apes.

Morotopithecus lived when apes were evolving into a wide variety of species and were more common than monkeys. At that time most apes climbed through the trees on all fours. Morotopithecus was able to hang and swing from branch to branch. Some scientists think this species may belong in the line of human ancestors.
While there's little doubt that this creature was somewhere in the mix, I feel that the article has only put forth an interesting conjecture.

With our unfortunate spinal arrangement knuckle-walking is far more natural than bipedalism. Unfortunately, the rest of our bodies won't allow it -- legs too long; arms too short, & so forth.

And I might remind: gibbons are brachiators, moving rapidly through the trees by swinging from limb to limb. Their arms are too long to make knuckle-walking comfortable nor even feasable. So even though brachiation might be considered a sort of a prelude to bipedalism, it is way too soon to get excited or make any firm claims about this.

Interesting thought, though. Certainly worth keeping a look-out for further research.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2007 :  07:15:56   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Good points, Filthy. It at least should be fun to see the dust this idea stirs up. Maybe we'll see more study on those really old hominems. One thing I had noticed before is that each time an earlier likely human is found, the bipedalism seems to already be advanced.

It was very interesting to see this at the first link you gave: "Morotopithecus lived when apes were evolving into a wide variety of species and were more common than monkeys." More common than monkeys! That's a lot of apes!


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2007 :  07:27:36   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by HalfMooner

Good points, Filthy. It at least should be fun to see the dust this idea stirs up. Maybe we'll see more study on those really old hominems. One thing I had noticed before is that each time an earlier likely human is found, the bipedalism seems to already be advanced.

It was very interesting to see this at the first link you gave: "Morotopithecus lived when apes were evolving into a wide variety of species and were more common than monkeys." More common than monkeys! That's a lot of apes!


Indeed it is and that raises the question of perhaps another species, as yet unknown, that might make a much better example of earlist bipedalism. As I recall, DNA testing has shown us to be much closer related to knuckle-draggers walkers than gibbons, which might explain the Republican Party which gives pause to making definitive statements on this species.

But it is still worthy of attention.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2007 :  07:41:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Here's a better article, in Science Daily, than the one I'd originally linked to.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2007 :  07:54:34   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by HalfMooner

Here's a better article, in Science Daily, than the one I'd originally linked to.


Oh, that one's much better! It mentions the concept of many bipedal apes, although it doesn't explore it.

This could turn out to be a fascinating era of early primate study and discovery that could upset a lot of currently accepted thought. Thanks for the info. I will look foreward with anticipation to the results of further studies.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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leoofno
Skeptic Friend

USA
346 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2007 :  08:28:33   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send leoofno a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by filthy

Originally posted by HalfMooner

Here's a better article, in Science Daily, than the one I'd originally linked to.


Oh, that one's much better! It mentions the concept of many bipedal apes, although it doesn't explore it.

This could turn out to be a fascinating era of early primate study and discovery that could upset a lot of currently accepted thought. Thanks for the info. I will look foreward with anticipation to the results of further studies.






So, looks like these "ancient apes" were upright walkers after all. They're beginning to look more and more like us every day. Its just as Hovind has been telling us all along. You were interpreting the data all wrong. The "evidence" doesn't support evolution, only your Godless, atheistic interpretation of it.

Boy have you got egg on your Dawkins-licking faces now!

The "House That Charles Built" is finally beginning to collapse around you. You still have time to save yourselves, for He loves you. If not, you can burn in Hell.

In all seriousness, I expect to see some of this from creationist sources in the near future.

"If you're not terrified, you're not paying attention." Eric Alterman
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2007 :  08:31:32   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by leoofno


So, looks like these "ancient apes" were upright walkers after all. They're beginning to look more and more like us every day. Its just as Hovind has been telling us all along. You were interpreting the data all wrong. The "evidence" doesn't support evolution, only your Godless, atheistic interpretation of it.

Boy have you got egg on your Dawkins-licking faces now!

The "House That Charles Built" is finally beginning to collapse around you. You still have time to save yourselves, for He loves you. If not, you can burn in Hell.

In all seriousness, I expect to see some of this from creationist sources in the near future.
Boy, are our faces red!


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2007 :  11:33:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Okay, I finally found Filler's original published paper, "Homeotic Evolution in the Mammalia: Diversification of Therian Axial Seriation and the Morphogenetic Basis of Human Origins," at PLoS ONE. (I think Filler should consider making the title a bit zingier.)


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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