Darwinian Motivations for Bipedalism

October 29th, 2011

Scientists theorize that our quadrupedal, ape-ish ancestors were motivated to start walking upright about the same time they figured out how to make and use tools.  It’s remarkably difficult to carry something while crawling on all fours, opposable thumb or no.

I’ve noticed the same process playing out with my son over the past few weeks.  After starting to take solo steps over a month ago, Buggie has finally settled into a mostly-bipedal form of locomotion (though he still can’t stand up by himself — he pulls up then takes off).  I think this is why:

His greatest love at the moment, apart from his sister, is books.  When you set him on the floor, he usually makes a beeline for the bookshelf, selects a favorite tome, waddles over with it, and climbs into your lap.  It’s pretty hard to mistake his intentions.

If there’s no parent immediately available to read to him, Buggie is pretty happy “reading” by himself, too.

Wait, the picture is good, but it’s better with sound…
http://www.youtube.com/get_player

One response to “Darwinian Motivations for Bipedalism”

  1. G'Mom says:

    What book is he reading to us?

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