Bipedalism, it's not just for humans

by phil on Tuesday May 25, 2004 9:11 PM

There is this common misperception that walking upright is yet another feature that puts humans above and beyond other animals. To put this to rest, I wrote a paper titled, Comparitive Bipedalism: How the rest of the animal kingdom walks on two legs.

The above link is not the final one I submitted; at the last minute I re-worded this line: females could propel sexual selection by selecting more and more erect males who win in display contests. While I wrote it I was aware of the sexual inuendo, and I thought it clever to leave it in there rather than clarifying "erect" as referring to "upright postures." But at the last minute, I decided to not be cavalier and nix it. I've made mistakes in the past where I'd naively assume that the other person would be ok with my humor... and what I've learned, especially with adults, is that if you aren't sure you're a funnyman, be conservative.

I wrote this for my Primate Evolution class at Stanford. For my colleagues, I highly recommend the course. The prof. Nina Jablonski is a rockstar. Some background in Earth history, evolution, and/or biology is useful, but don't let that stop non-majors from taking it.

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