Our ancestors originally walked on four feet before they evolved and learned to balance themselves on two legs. The transition marked an important moment in human evolution, and it led scientists to figure out the exact time frame in which it occurred. A recent study suggests that human ancestors walked upright around 7 million years ago. And, that’s much earlier than the researchers had estimated earlier. The discovery came after a detailed analysis of the thigh and forearm fossils.The fossils were found in Chad’s Jurab Desert, where the complete skull of a species called Chad Sahel Discovered in 2001, it is said to be the oldest representative species of human beings.

For the study, the team compared the found fossils to equivalent skeletons from humans, gorillas and chimpanzees. With this, they studied the mechanics of bones and how the species uses them.

In total, they used 20 different skeletal features to determine Chad Sahel Walk on two or four legs. The appearance of the remains and its internal structure were also accessed using microtomography imaging.

From their analysis, the team concluded that habitual bipedal walking was the most likely scenario. This means that while species use their hands and legs to climb trees, they prefer to walk on two legs on the ground.

They also noticed differences between how the species climbed trees and how gorillas and chimpanzees climb trees today. This species uses a firm grip rather than resting on the toe bones and fingers.

“The curvature and cross-sectional geometry of the ulna…indicate habitual arboreal behavior, including climbing and/or ‘ climbing’, rather than Walking on four legs on land.”

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The team believes that the species may live in environments of palm groves, forests and grasslands, where it walks on its legs and climbs trees.

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By Rebecca French

Rebecca French writes books about Technology and smartwatches. Her books have received starred reviews in Technology Shout, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist. She is a New York Times and a USA Today Bestseller...