Course of Foot Evolution Analysis Paper
Order ID 53563633773 Type Essay Writer Level Masters Style APA Sources/References 4 Perfect Number of Pages to Order 5-10 Pages
Humans, along with familiar species such as orangutans, gorillas, lemurs, baboons, and chimpanzees, are primates. Among living primates, modern humans are most closely related to chimpanzees. The two species shared a common ancestor that lived about 67 million years ago. One of the traits that distinguish humans from all other
primates, including chimpanzees, is the way we walk. Chimpanzees are primarily quadrupedal, which means that they walk on four limbs. Chimpanzees move with their hands turned under so that their knuckles make contact with the ground, which is why they are also described as knuckle-walkers. Humans, on the other hand, are bipedal,
meaning that we walk on two legs.
We walk with our feet close together and directly underneath our hips, enabling us to balance on one leg while the other leg swings forward. Chimpanzees can walk on two legs only for short distances. Because their feet are not directly under their hips, they sway side to side to help maintain balance when walking on two legs.
Because humans are the only primate to walk on two legs, bipedality most likely evolved in the lineage that led to humans. But when during human ancestry did this human trait first evolve? This activity will help answer that question. In Part 1, you will make observations and inferences from a portion of the Laetoli trackway, a trail of
footprints that were made in what is now East Africa about 3.6 million years ago! In Part 3, you will compare human feet and chimpanzee feet to the footprints in the Laetoli trackway, to determine whether those footprints were more human-like or chimp-like. Lastly, in Part 3, you will analyze a published scientific figure from a research study that used footprints formed millions of years ago to estimate the heights of early human ancestors.
There are two sets of prints in the trackway; one set is labeled G.1 and the other G.2/3. In each footprint, the outermost lines outline the size of the foot and each line within represents 1 millimeter of additional depth. The more lines there are encircling an area, the deeper that part of the footprint was in the ash.
Question 1. What do you observe about the footprints?
a. Is the big toe pointed in the same direction as the stride?
b. Where was most of the weight placed?
Question 2. What can you infer from your observations? For each of the questions below, list the observations and inferences.
a. How many individuals were walking?
b. What were their relative sizesthat is, how big were they compared with one another?
c. Were they walking together at the same time?
Compare the Laetoli trackway to the two images below of modern human footprints. The images are followed by a link to a very short video of footprints being made in wet sand by a modern human
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