Endurance running and the evolution of Homo

  title={Endurance running and the evolution of Homo},
  author={Dennis M. Bramble and Daniel E. Lieberman},
Striding bipedalism is a key derived behaviour of hominids that possibly originated soon after the divergence of the chimpanzee and human lineages. Although bipedal gaits include walking and running, running is generally considered to have played no major role in human evolution because humans, like apes, are poor sprinters compared to most quadrupeds. Here we assess how well humans perform at sustained long-distance running, and review the physiological and anatomical bases of endurance… 
Optimal running speed and the evolution of hominin hunting strategies.
Persistence Hunting by Modern Hunter- Gatherers
Before the domestication of dogs, persistence hunting may have been one of the most efficient forms of hunting and may therefore have been crucial in the evolution of humans.
Economy and Endurance in Human Evolution
Human locomotion and heat loss: an evolutionary perspective.
As modern humans dispersed into a wide range of habitats over the last few hundred thousand years, recent selection has helped populations cope better with a broader range of locomotor and thermoregulatory challenges, but all humans remain essentially adapted for long distance locomotion rather than speed, and to dump rather than retain heat.
The Evolution of Marathon Running
Human endurance running performance capabilities compare favourably with those of other mammals and probably emerged sometime around 2 million years ago in order to help meat-eating hominids compete with other carnivores.
Energetic and endurance constraints on great ape quadrupedalism and the benefits of hominin bipedalism
How bipedalism relaxes constraints on nonhuman primate quadrupedal limb mechanics, providing key advantages during hominin evolution is focused on.
Arboreality, terrestriality and bipedalism
The full publication of Ardipithecus ramidus has particular importance for the origins of hominin bipedality, and strengthens the growing case for an arboreal origin. Palaeontological techniques
Thermoregulation and endurance running in extinct hominins: Wheeler's models revisited.
Brains, Brawn, and the Evolution of Human Endurance Running Capabilities
While humans have comparatively poor performance capabilities in terms of power and strength, the authors are unusually specialized endurance athletes, with surprisingly impressive aerobic performance capabilities, which compare extremely well to other mammals, especially primates.
A natural history of human tree climbing.


Stride length and its determinants in humans, early hominids, primates, and mammals.
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  • Biology, Environmental Science
    American journal of physical anthropology
  • 1987
The stride length of the Laetoli hominid trails are evaluated and it is found that humans have running stride lengths that are at the lower end of the range of stride lengths of quadrupedal primates.
The Energetic Paradox of Human Running and Hominid Evolution [and Comments and Reply]
One factor important in the origin of the Hominidae may have been the occupation of a new niche as a diurnal endurance predator, given what is known of heat dissipation in Old World Anthropoidea, the bipedality of early hominids, and human exercise physiology.
The locomotor anatomy of Australopithecus afarensis.
It is demonstrated that A. afarensis possessed anatomic characteristics that indicate a significant adaptation for movement in the trees, and it is speculated that earlier representatives of the A.Afarensis lineage will present not a combination of arboreal and bipedal traits, but rather the anatomy of a generalized ape.
Interpreting the posture and locomotion of Australopithecus afarensis: where do we stand?
  • C. Ward
  • Biology, Psychology
    American journal of physical anthropology
  • 2002
It is clear that these hominins had undergone selection for habitual bipedality, but the null hypothesis of nonaptation to explain the retention of primitive, ape-like characters cannot be falsified at present.
Body proportions of Homo habilis reviewed.
Origine(s) de la bipédie chez les hominidés
Origine is tangible evidence that paleoanthropological opinion on A. afarensis has ripened and now presents a majority opinion that australopithecines were committed, but rather inefficient, bipeds that also retained a substantial capacity to engage in ape-like climbing and suspension.
Locomotor activity differences between sympatric patas monkeys (Erythrocebus patas) and vervet monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops): implications for the evolution of long hindlimb length in Homo.
Comparing the locomotor activities of patas monkeys and sympatric, closely related vervet monkeys provides evidence for the hypothesis that patas use their long stride more to increase foraging efficiency while walking than to run, either from predators or otherwise.
Evolution of Human Walking
Neither a unique brain nor stone tools are in evidence among the authors' earliest known ancestors, the austra­ lopithecines of three million years ago and more, yet these same ancestors do clearly show many of the hallmarks of bipedal walking.