Humans are odd in many ways. But perhaps the oddest of our features is our upright posture. We walk on two legs. And we are the only mammal to do so.
So why do we walk upright? And why does it matter?
Jeremy DeSilva is a fossil expert and a professor of paleoanthropology at Dartmouth College. He is also the author of a remarkable book, aptly titled First Steps: How Upright Walking Made Us Human
[An audio version of First Steps is now offered to you for free from Audible! See links and eligibility below.]
DeSilva’s treatment of the subject is sweeping: while tracing the journey of human posture, he draws remarkable links between bipedalism and many facets of the human condition from difficult births to complex language and from lower back pains to the beauty of friendships.
In this episode, we talk about questions such as:
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Charles Darwin / Ian Tattersall / Donal Johanson / Mary Leakey / Sherwood Washburn / Richard Wrangham (ep 21) / Kristen Hawkes (ep 6) / Holly Dunsworth / Daniel Lieberman
Mentioned hominin species
Sahelanthropus / Ardipithecus / Auroren tugenensis / Austrolepithecus (e.g. Lucy) / Homo habilis / Homo erectus / Homo sapiens
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