- Comparative Anatomy
Overview: Bipedalism is a defining characteristic of modern humans that evolved over millions of years. Therefore, identifying evidence for bipedalism in the fossil record can help determine what selective pressures may have affected human evolution. This lesson examines the significance of bipedalism, anatomical adaptations exhibited by hominins, and discusses possible climatic influences on bipedal evolution. Students should have a basic understanding of osteology (i.e. skeletal anatomy). You can download a PDF version of this lesson here (1.62 Mb).
A. Introduction to Bipedalism
B. Anatomical Evidence for Bipedalism
C. Fossil and Geologic Evidence
E. Activities and Review
Required Materials: Pen, pencil, digital calipers (or ruler), actual size cast of human cranium (if available). If downloaded, copies of attached sections A-G of this lesson.
Expected classroom hours: 2 hrs (Assigning reading as homework is recommended to decrease class time.)
Suggested Supplemental Lessons or Resources:
Last updated 23 Jan 2012.
eFossils is a collaborative website in which users can explore important fossil localities and browse the fossil digital library. If you have any problems using this site or have any other questions, please feel free to contact us.
Funding for eFossils was provided by the Longhorn Innovation Fund for Technology (LIFT) Award from the Research & Educational Technology Committee (R&E) of the IT governance structure at The University of Texas at Austin.