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Development of Bipedal Walking in Humans and Chimpanzees: A Comparative Study

Kimura T.a · Yaguramaki N.b
aIshikawa Prefectural Nursing University, Kahoku City, and bMedBridge, Kyoto, Japan Folia Primatol 2009;80:45–62 (DOI:10.1159/000209676)


Development of bipedal walking from the very early stage of walking was studied longitudinally in infant humans and chimpanzees. In contrast to adults, infants of neither species could walk steadily and rhythmically step by step. Short braking duration and small recovery of mechanical energy were demonstrated in infants of both species. The trunk was inclined forwards, the extension of lower limb joints was limited and the accelerating force was not strongly activated. Potential energy was not efficiently used in progression. Walking in adult chimpanzees still showed a forward-inclined trunk, short braking duration, small recovery of energy and large variance of parameters compared to the unique human adult bipedalism. The locomotor characteristics of presumed pre-bipedal ancestors are discussed.


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