CARTA: The Evolution of Human Physical Activity - Jandy Hanna -The Rise and Fall of Climbing in Human Evolution

7/2/2021; 16 minutes

Human physical activities differ significantly from other species. How, when and why did these capabilities evolve? What adaptations underlie them? And how did the evolution of human physical activity affect other key human characteristics that have advanced our species? Jandy Hanna explores climbing in human evolution.

Most primates live and move in the trees, but humans have evolved to move bipedally on the ground. Primates' arboreal life-style has long been thought to have allowed the evolution of human beings' unusual form of movement. We know much about how horizontal movement on branches differs in primates relative to most other mammals. But only recently have we begun to learn about how climbing is accomplished by non-human primates, and how such movement may have permitted early human ancestors to move upright. Key findings regarding the biomechanics of climbing, and what these data may mean for understanding human movement and exercise, are discussed.
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