Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS

Origins of Bipedalism

  • By Rima Chaddha
  • Posted 10.01.06
  • NOVA

Why do we walk on two feet? If you asked a roomful of anthropologists, you'd likely get a different answer from each person. In the course of human evolution, was there one key factor—changing landscapes, the need to keep cool, the advantage of attracting a mate? Here, sample leading hypotheses and vote for the one you prefer. Then hear paleoanthropologist Donald Johanson's take.

Launch Interactive Printable Version

Explore hypotheses for why we stand up, choose your favorite, then hear what paleoanthropologist Donald Johanson thinks.

Credits

Images

(illustrations)
© NOVA/WGBH Educational Foundation
(Donald Johanson)
Courtesy Donald Johanson

Related Links

  • Our Improbable Ability to Walk

    How do we two-legged, top-heavy pillars of flesh and bone possibly stay upright while in motion?

  • Compare the Skeletons

    The bones of chimps, early human ancestors, and modern people reveal what it takes for us to walk upright.

  • Becoming Human Part 1

    First Steps: Six million years ago, what set our ancestors on the path from ape to human?

  • Who's Who In Human Evolution

    Meet your increasingly distant cousins in this clickable illustration of the past seven million years.

Close

You need the Flash Player plug-in to view this content.

Close

You need the Flash Player plug-in to view this content.