Advantages And Disadvantages Of Bipedalism

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Bipedalism is something people take for granted. Without conscious thought they put one foot in front of the other and stride forward. While great attention is given to a baby’s first steps, little, if any, attention is given to the advantages of this form of movement. The benefits of walking, running, and standing while using two legs instead of four go unremarked. It is simply natural for humans to travel this way. Humans are not the only animals to use bipedalism, birds and some mammals, including primates, can also walk on two legs, but none quite like human beings. This is truly an important trait shared by people and yet it is one of the most ignored.
Bipedalism is one of the two principal features that are unique to humans among all living primates: the other being a very large brain in proportion to the body. Of these, bipedalism appeared long before the other. Australopithecus afarensis anatomy display many anatomical features of habitual
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However, this shift had its disadvantages as well. Standing upright, while it provides a better view of the terrain, increases exposure to predators. Standing or walking on two feet while hoisting or transporting heavy objects for long periods of time can result in back injuries, such as arthritis and slipped intervertebral disks. Bipedalism also causes strain on the circulatory system as it moves blood from the legs to the heart. This stress can lead to the development of varicose veins, a condition in which veins become prominent due to overwork. Finally, if one of a biped’s feet is injured, then his ability to walk can be seriously restricted. Unable to travel about the landscape, an early hominid would have had a limited chance of survival (Larsen,

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