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 Running Defines Us As Human
Submitted by phaedrus :: Fri Nov 26, 2004 12:08 pm
The November 18 issue of Nature includes a new study suggesting that the development of running ability played a crucial role in early human evolution. Learning to run helped humans gain dominance in the world with one major cost: the ability to easily climb trees, which apparently disappeared as humans developed bodies designed for running instead.

The researchers found numerous physical traits that evolved in humans and appear to be critical to the ability to run: head designs that prevent overheating and allow humans to see the world as they run without too much jiggling; a ligament in the back that acts as a kind of shock absorber; shorter forearms, which allow for better counterbalancing of the upper and lower bodies; and huge buttocks, which provide stabilization.

Unfortunately, the authors don't believe we're still on this evolutionary track... so don't expect your children to run much faster than you!


Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 37

Re: Running Defines Us As Human Posted: Mon Dec 06, 2004 10:21 pm 

That makes some sense. Although if humans are evolutionarily designed for running, they're still pretty bad at it compared to the mammalian speed demons like horses or cheetas. And if we're genetically designed for running, then why am I still so slow? :-)

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