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Vol. 18, No. 1-2, 1972
Issue release date: 1972
Folia Primatol 1972;18:1–19

A Biomechanical Interpretation of the Pelvis of Australopithecus

Zihlman A.L. · Hunter W.S.
Crown College, University of California, Santa Cruz Permanent Medical Group, San Francisco, Calif.


Dart’s model of the Makapan ilium in a Bushman pelvis showed their morphological similarities in size and shape. The structural differences of the ilia have important implications for locomotion that are revealed by biomechanical reconstruction. These features relate to the ability of the anterior of the gluteus medius-minimus muscle complex to produce internal rotation. Combined with abduction, internal rotation is a fundamental motor element necessary for efficient bipedal gait; consequently, the muscle complex had important survival value. In the evolution of Australopithecus to Homo, selection was less for a particular gait than for the improvement of a joint motion element in gait as an essential part of a hunting/gathering and tool-using way of life.

 goto top of outline Author Contacts

Authors’ addresses: Dr. A. L. Zihlman, Crown College, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, and Dr. W.S. Hunter, 356 Greenwich, San Francisco, CA 94133 (USA)

 goto top of outline Article Information

Number of Print Pages : 19

 goto top of outline Publication Details

Folia Primatologica (International Journal of PrimatologyInternationale Zeitschrift für PrimatologieJournal international de Primatologie)

Vol. 18, No. 1-2, Year 1972 (Cover Date: 1972)

Journal Editor: Crompton R.H. (Liverpool)
ISSN: 0015–5713 (Print), eISSN: 1421–9980 (Online)

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