Human Foot Evolution

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Comparisons of the foot and ankle of Chimpanzees and Homo sapiens sapiens show several distinct changes. These changes developed mainly due to the transition from quadrupedal to bipedal movement and becoming more terrestrial rather than arboreal. When researching different hominids in chronological order, it is clear that each change in our foot morphology occurred at a different time in our evolutionary history, and not all traits are exhibited in extinct lines of Homo and other hominid relatives.
When investigating the evolution of the modern human foot, it is important to understand what it was evolving from. Chimpanzees exhibit a great deal of midfoot flexibility, used for their semi arboreal lifestyle, and had a longer, opposable hallux. Only 8% of humans exhibit this trait (Holowka et al., 2017). From the chimpanzee to modern human foot, changes such as shortened toes, a long tarsus, a non-opposable hallux, a remodeled calcaneocuboid joint, and longitudinal arches, appeared, taking away our midfoot flexibility (Susman, 1983). These changes allowed for us
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These footprints were found in sediment layers dating back to 1.51 and 1.53 million years ago in Kenya (Bennett et al., 2009). Scientists argue that these footprints are the earliest evidence supporting of a modern human-like foot morphology. From the footprints, researchers believe the hominid had an abducted hallux and medial longitudinal arches in the foot (Bennett et al., 2009). The footprints also provide evidence for a medial weight transfer before pushing off from the ground. Researchers consider these footprints morphologically different than the footprints found in Tanzania that date back to 3.75 million years ago. With this in mind, researchers argue that the modern human foot actually developed 1.5 million years

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