New Evidence Could Rewrite the History of Human Bipedalism


Have you ever wondered where walking comes from? It’s something most of us do every day, And new fossil evidence adds some serious twists and turns to our understanding of the evolution of human mobility. Let’s get the confusing part out of the way first: humans are taxonomically classified in the family Hominidae. This is also the family that includes Neanderthals, or Homo neanderthalensis, as well as other human species like Homo habilis, Homo erectus, the genera Ardipithecus and Australopithecus. But this family also includes modern day non-human great apes and their ancestors. So that’s what we refer to as hominids: all ancient and modern day primates. Within the hominids, there’s a group we refer to as hominins, which refers to only modern humans, extinct humans, and our immediate ancestors. You and me, Homo sapiens, are the last living member of this group. And ever since we started sorting organisms into taxonomic classifications, one of the key defining features that separates us hominins from other primates has been bipedal locomotion: simply put, our ability to walk around on two feet. Non-hominin primates—because yes, humans are also primates—do not demonstrate this behavior as their primary form of locomotion. Our closest living relatives use their long arms and knuckles for quadrupedal walking. And by looking at the structure of a primate’s pelvis, shoulders, elbows, hands and other anatomical features, we can learn a lot about the way an animal moved, even if we only have their bones. Studying the characteristics of several ancient primate fossils has indicated that these ancestors may have used many different methods of locomotion, which has left paleontologists with a bunch of questions. When did walking exclusively on two feet become the primary boogie for hominins? Or what about the knuckle-walking that we see in modern great apes, when did that appear? It’s been difficult to tell from the fossil record so far… until a recent discovery added a significant new piece to the puzzle. A team of paleoanthropologists just unearthed a new ancient ape species, which they’ve named Danuvius guggenmosi. Very catchy. This species lived in what’s now Germany approximately 11.6 million years ago and its anatomy suggests that it moved in a really exciting way. It’s a dryopithecine ape, an ancestor of modern day humans, and it was probably about the size of a baboon. The fossil has long arms, flexible elbows and strong hands, all of which indicate that it most likely did a lot of swinging from trees. This is similar to bonobos, chimps and gorillas, whose anatomy allows them to walk on their knuckles on the ground and occasionally do some tree swinging. But D. guggenmosi’s lower limbs, specifically its hips and knees, were different. They were extended, meaning its legs could have straightened to a full standing position, and its knees and ankles were capable of bearing weight. All of this indicates that the animal probably got around using a movement method previously unheard of in paleoanthropology— what these researchers are calling ‘extended limb clambering,’ or the equal use of both its upper and lower limbs. Arms to hang and swing, legs to walk upright. This essentially represents a missing link in the evolution of primate movement. Up until very recently, we’ve been pretty much in the dark about exactly when and how bipedalism may have evolved. This discovery pushes the development of walking on two feet to way before the time we had in mind: about 5 million years earlier, in fact. It totally upends the way we’ve been thinking about all of this. Because most lines of thinking in primate evolution have gone down the route that hominins evolved bipedalism when splitting off from a quadrupedal ancestor, but this newly discovered fossil is a common ancestor of both bipedal hominins and modern-day knuckle-walking great apes. Which then means that modern apes may have evolved their knuckle-walking after this common ancestor had already developed an early bipedal mechanism. In addition to giving us brand new data points to inform our understanding of human evolution and our relationship to our living cousins, this discovery is also cool because the fossil was found in Germany. Many of us may picture ancient apes exclusively wandering around the African continent, but many of our ancestors were living in Europe and Asia in the mid- to late Miocene epoch. And here’s the most exciting part to me: between this fossil in Europe and the earliest evidence of early human development in Africa, there’s a couple million years missing. We don’t know what happened in between: how does bipedalism get from a species like D. guggenmosi in Germany to the next earliest bipedal hominin species in the fossil record, found in Africa? There’s still a lot to unearth. So much of human history, the very beginnings of where we come from, just waiting to be dug up out of the dirt. What are you interested to see paleontologists dig up next? Let us know down in the comments below, and for more on upturned evolutionary ideas check out this one on dinosaur development. Subscribe to Seeker for all your breaking news on ancient stuff, and I’ll see ya next time. Thanks for watching.

100 Comments

  1. Seeker said:

    Hi Seekers, thanks for watching! For more Elements, check out our playlist here: http://bit.ly/ElementsPlaylist

    January 27, 2020
    Reply
  2. Sun Spirit said:

    Only monkeys will take these info blindly of a theory proven wrong and no scientist who has so e self respect will back it up

    January 31, 2020
    Reply
  3. Hackers Get Assassinated said:

    Antarctica’s next

    February 1, 2020
    Reply
  4. El Maikito said:

    She's hot

    February 1, 2020
    Reply
  5. Frank Mill said:

    of course its found in Germany LMAO!!!

    February 1, 2020
    Reply
  6. b r e n d o n 82 said:

    Not fair…. I want a European money that makes us different to africans. Africans dont think like us

    February 1, 2020
    Reply
  7. Renee Tate said:

    The problem with the theory that HUMANS came from these other creatures is that DNA does not support it.
    As only some people have DNA that was mixed with creators that were not %human. Which means that other creatures
    have nothing to do with HUMANS ability to walk upright as that DNA mixing came after humans and not before.

    February 1, 2020
    Reply
  8. Aro said:

    why they stop evolving and what is even more interesting, when they stop evolving?

    February 1, 2020
    Reply
  9. Abinash Pandey said:

    I have quit watching these seeker videos which are narrated by this girl because every time i watch her video she got my focus on her looks and unfortunately i don't understand the video.

    February 1, 2020
    Reply
  10. Knight Wolf said:

    Human evolution is not real, we didn't come from monkeys, so did the universe did not come from nothing, everything has a beginning.

    February 2, 2020
    Reply
  11. Itz YaBoi said:

    None of this is new though.. We have known about bipedalism being the prior motion before using knuckles to walk. We’ve already known when and how we’ve evolved to bipedalism a long time ago. This stuff was covered in every anthropology 101 class in the first 2 weeks for years and years lol

    February 2, 2020
    Reply
  12. Bruce IDW said:

    I’m not a homo sapiens (man knowing). I’m a homo pensiens (man thinking). Suck my balls, you knuckle-draggers.

    February 2, 2020
    Reply
  13. Matt D said:

    HURRRRRRRRRRR

    DUUUUUUUUUUUR

    February 2, 2020
    Reply
  14. AWARHERO said:

    Homo Sapiens my ass… I vote to rename it "Homo Stupidus".

    February 2, 2020
    Reply
  15. Azzrudin Jamil said:

    Missing link or just a freak of nature?

    February 2, 2020
    Reply
  16. kingpest13 said:

    Dude, me stomach is Soo messed up.. I just ripped a huge one.

    February 2, 2020
    Reply
  17. Abel Arredondo said:

    As far as I’m concerned Randal Carlson is about the only scientist I’m listening too. Graham Hancock as well.

    February 2, 2020
    Reply
  18. Ponlets said:

    why does >90% of people walk improperly

    walking should be toe heel toe heel

    not heel toe heel toe

    heel to causes knee damage and unneeded strain on the back

    toe heel is how we evolved to walk and should always walk like that

    February 2, 2020
    Reply
  19. DÆV said:

    I love your shirt😍👚

    February 2, 2020
    Reply
  20. Jotham Angelo Rodriguez said:

    Panini

    February 2, 2020
    Reply
  21. Sigurd2020 said:

    You guys should team up with Darpa. You could make alot more videos about new technologies

    February 2, 2020
    Reply
  22. webicy Amani said:

    Why are people looking for a missing link? Apes and humans are totally different species from when they started to exist.

    February 2, 2020
    Reply
  23. Nuno Hipólito said:

    No homo

    February 2, 2020
    Reply
  24. wcdeich4 said:

    Aren't you forgetting about Sahelanthropus tchadensis at about 7 million years ago?

    February 2, 2020
    Reply
  25. Majime said:

    God created the humans that are scientifically classified in the ape family

    February 2, 2020
    Reply
  26. R&D Manufacturing said:

    Did you know 🐓 evolute from Dinosaurs 🦖.

    February 2, 2020
    Reply
  27. Graph Guy said:

    Let me help you all.
    Humans walked on their feet the minute God created Adam. EOS

    February 2, 2020
    Reply
  28. Alejandro Macias said:

    Let's just accept that the out of Africa theory is outdated and that believing that all races evolved from black people is absurd.

    February 3, 2020
    Reply
  29. Carrie Crane said:

    On the sixth day God created man … and it was very good.
    Imagination solved.

    February 3, 2020
    Reply
  30. Marco Zec said:

    convergent evolution…?

    February 3, 2020
    Reply
  31. vincesayshello said:

    Walking on two feet is definitely my "primary boogie."

    February 3, 2020
    Reply
  32. glitch gamer said:

    Awesome and fascinating

    February 3, 2020
    Reply
  33. Peace said:

    So we are Europeans not Africans?

    February 3, 2020
    Reply
  34. Mariano Alippi said:

    This for palentology, the same as ALIVE of the Natural History Museum of David Attenborough , the WebGL for Seeker Diving in this dimension https://www.biodigital.com

    February 3, 2020
    Reply
  35. Mariano Alippi said:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWS-lDLQmmA

    February 3, 2020
    Reply
  36. Mariano Alippi said:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rku-alUnhE8&t=2s

    February 3, 2020
    Reply
  37. Mit Seraffej said:

    Considering complex multi cellular life emerged a little over half a billion years ago during the Cambrian explosion, and assuming human descendants will still be present on Earth until the Sun dies in say 4 billion years, what will we look like by then? Scary thought.

    February 3, 2020
    Reply
  38. Mike De Visser said:

    perhaps you should research giants, ancient knowledge explains where we came from but religion deceived all of us about he real truth of who we are. Wake up people

    February 3, 2020
    Reply
  39. Pandoran Bias said:

    I sweat to god, every female host of this show SOUNDS EXACTLY THE GODDAMN SAME.

    February 3, 2020
    Reply
  40. Joey Big Things Poppin said:

    Humans and gorilla are not of the same specie in history.. (his-story) is what hides the truth of man !

    February 3, 2020
    Reply
  41. Azure Pyre said:

    Honestly, I’m not believing a thing until you can prove it with a time machine. Yeah this is interesting but I won’t take any of it as fact. You can only prove any of it to a point, all of it is assumed. All of creation and history has been destroyed over time.

    February 3, 2020
    Reply
  42. Vincymesay St vincent said:

    Love you baby

    February 3, 2020
    Reply
  43. Antonio Rodriguez said:

    This topic captures my interest……..more please……👍👍✌

    February 3, 2020
    Reply
  44. Taha Chorghay said:

    So D. Guggenmosi were the first to invent standing sex positions! 😂

    February 3, 2020
    Reply
  45. Ian McLean said:

    Shout out to our cousin, Harambe.

    May he rest piece.

    February 3, 2020
    Reply
  46. Tom Mallard said:

    Adding, skeletal evidence pins footwear having evolved the structure circa 40ybp, and, early NG issues have Sherpa toting loads through snow barefoot, no clue on their structures vs pre footwear.

    February 3, 2020
    Reply
  47. gr33ndest1ny said:

    Why is so hard to find info on panini / pan ? Because it’s a food?

    February 3, 2020
    Reply
  48. pgantioch43 said:

    Wasn’t there a 6 or 8 Myo fossil from Tunisia or someplace that had 1st & 2nd metatarsal bones that looked like it could have been a tree-walker? A lot of those details could be wrong, BTW, given my defective memory, LOL.
    It supports the hypothesis of bipedal locomotion before knuckle-walking. But there ARE fossils between the one discussed here & Australopithecus.

    February 4, 2020
    Reply
  49. Phantom Apprentice said:

    more likely the long legs evolved to assist in climbing as longer limbs allow to better scale walls with fewer anchor spots. as seen for example in rock climbing, a rock climber who is taller would have an advantage.

    February 4, 2020
    Reply
  50. i don't know name said:

    Garbage

    February 4, 2020
    Reply
  51. Jordan Whisson said:

    Walking comes from my legs

    February 4, 2020
    Reply
  52. Yannick Duchêne said:

    From 11.6 millions years ago to 4.4 millions years ago, there are about 7 millions years, but the voice says a couple of millions years. What is right ? What she says or what’s written right after what she says ?

    February 4, 2020
    Reply
  53. Darren Bauer said:

    What if it's convergent evolution, and not actually a direct ancestor?

    February 4, 2020
    Reply
  54. Rich B said:

    This new fossil could have developed bipedalism independently of modern day great apes. Convergent Evolution.

    February 4, 2020
    Reply
  55. Rick Sanchez said:

    TARZAN!!!!

    February 4, 2020
    Reply
  56. Ahnenerbe Alex said:

    "Out of Germany" hypothesis looks much more promising now…

    February 5, 2020
    Reply
  57. mr nobody said:

    Maybe we didn't start in africa.if what Darwin said about evolutionary pressure at the time was correct the conditions for bipedalism would've happened in more than one place. There wasn't a centralized place for all rats, birds, wolves, and cats so why would hominids?

    February 5, 2020
    Reply
  58. Srihari Vel said:

    She said erectus😂

    February 5, 2020
    Reply
  59. NephilimFree said:

    Evolution became a laughable myth in the 20th century, during which it was disproved by millions of discoveries. One such discovery is that polymerase is a product of it's own translation, which proves Special Creation. Another is the discovery that the cell's structural design is not generated by genetic information, but is instead passed on by reproduction form the reproductive cells of the parents (Cortical Inheritance) which traces back to the original created organism. Evolutionism is a philosophy which is contradicted by science. Over 100 yrs ago, Evolution Theory was plausible for naturalists because of their rejection of God. Biological science was rudimentary and archaic, and provided no information about the operations of the cell. Modern biology has very greatly changed what is known of genetics and biology. It has been discovered that life is based upon information which is digitally encoded and stored in a more compressed form than man's best computer compression schemes.

    DNA is a material medium encoded with information which is organized to conform to linguistics, possesses algorithmic information processing operations, and the human language properties of phonetics, semantics, punctuation, syntax, grammar, and aprobetics. The information input and output processing of DNA includes the analytical operations of proofreading, information comparison, cut, insert, copy-and-past, backup, and restore, all of which operate by algorithmic operations. There is no potential for the material actions of chemistry to produce information, algorithms, and linguistics. They are non-physical fundamental entities that can only be produced by intelligence. This fact is proof that all life was designed by a mind of supreme intelligence. Because of this and many other biological discoveries, it has been overwhelmingly demonstrated that evolution is impossible and creation is a scientific fact.

    DNA is a 4-dimentional (3 dimentions + time) operating system which is far more complex than man's computer software technology, posessing many thousands of information hierarchies and pathways in the cell. When the DNA molecule is supercoiled as chromatin, some of it's information is available to the cell which is not available when the molecule is uncoiled, and when it is not supercoiled, some of it's information is available to the cell which is not available when it is supercoiled. DNA is a dual-directional information package, providing different information depending upon which strand and direction the transcription machinery of the cell is traveling. Man does not know how to to write computer software that can be read both forward and backwards to provide separate information processes and functionality. It is beyond our ability. DNA's individual information sequences are overlapping and nested sharing nucleotides between sequences, and information in different locations of the molecule are interdependent with each other, even when separated by hundreds or thousands of base pairs in distance from each other – a feature which exemplifies why chemical processes cannot design DNA.

    DNA possesses codes built upon codes which regulate the use of each other, even when they are distant from each other in the molecule. Genetic algorithms and information possess forward-thinking properties, which nature is incapable of producing because molecules are not sentient. During an organism's development, the genetic information instructs the cell on how to turn on and off, like chemical switches, many sequences of information of the DNA in a supremely complex and yet to be understood orchestral arrangement of various groupings and orders so as to build the structures of the organism over time. These patterns of genes being switched on and off is so complex that man will likely never be able to decipher it.

    If you want to believe in evolution because you refuse to acknowledge the existence of our creator, nobody can stop you. But doing so is to be a denialists of the discoveries of modern science because the truth is uncomfortable, and to continue to believe things which the outdated concept of Charles Darwin over 150 yrs ago could not have predicted. Believing in evolution today is as antiquated as it was to believe that flies arose from meat, or that frogs arose from mud a century prior to Darwin.

    Eugenie Scott, the popular militant defender of evolutionism has stated, "If your local campus Christian fellowship asks you to "defend evolution," please decline. Public debates rarely change many minds; creationists stage them mainly in the hope of drawing large sympathetic audiences. Have you ever watched the Harlem Globetrotters play the Washington Federals? The Federals get off some good shots, but who remembers them? The purpose of the game is to see the Globetrotters beat the other team. And you probably will get beaten."

    Atheists in fact hate the Scientific Method and refuse to employ it. Example: 100 years of random genetic mutation experimentation, over one million studies, has provided consistent results demonstrating that random mutations are destructive and negative to organisms, both biochemically and anatomically, and do not add anything useful to the physiology of any organism, not even incrementally. Conclusion? Mutation cannot be a mechanism for accruing change that results in macroevolution. But what does the atheist conclude despite such a massive body of evidence? They continue believing that random mutation IS a mechanism for accruing change that results in mind-bending complexity, microscopic interdependent machinery, and macroevolution, not because of science, but because their worldview requires it to be, since if evolution were true, random mutation would have to be the base mechanism for evolution because genetic information defines organisms. In this way, they refuse to come to the correct conclusion because of their paradigm, tossing out the Scientific Method and the conclusion it would require them to accept.

    February 5, 2020
    Reply
  60. SyFy Rytr said:

    Aquatic Ape.

    February 6, 2020
    Reply
  61. ˢᶦⁿᶦˢᵗᵉʳ ᴾᵒᵗᵃᵗᵒ said:

    Neandertall

    February 6, 2020
    Reply
  62. Kurt Neumann said:

    I want a buck azz naked modern human try and fight any of our closest relatives. Tell me how evolutionary our bodies are than. It's the mind and the body. The mind is key.

    February 6, 2020
    Reply
  63. John N Smith said:

    I don't believe in evolution between humans and apes.

    February 7, 2020
    Reply
  64. Link 24 said:

    At 2:24 Throws out the notion that humans originated from Africa

    February 7, 2020
    Reply
  65. Philip Turner said:

    And this is evidence yhat human women talk like ducks

    February 7, 2020
    Reply
  66. Roman Korvinus said:

    control a person head and control their bodies movement, iId look at the spine and skull.

    February 7, 2020
    Reply
  67. 7 6 said:

    I think we’re going to have to dig up the entire earth to finally solve these mysteries.

    February 8, 2020
    Reply
  68. Always watch out for Magpies said:

    In my dreams i run on all four limbs bit weird always think about it when i wake up

    February 8, 2020
    Reply
  69. bern steiner said:

    The apes are byproduct of human genetic manipulation…

    February 8, 2020
    Reply
  70. Mohsin Asghar said:

    02:07

    February 8, 2020
    Reply
  71. Clayton Hills said:

    So they found Tarzan

    February 9, 2020
    Reply
  72. F Ma said:

    Your last name, Hunsberger, sounds German!! 😮

    February 9, 2020
    Reply
  73. Joe Duke said:

    Less than a thousand years ago, nearly all women walked on all fours, which was very convenient for oral sex, then Feminism came along and women evolved to wear high heels.

    February 9, 2020
    Reply
  74. Steve Costanzo said:

    Get digging.

    February 9, 2020
    Reply
  75. DavidRojoCancun said:

    This video is again an undeniable proof that smart people are sexy.

    February 10, 2020
    Reply
  76. death 1 said:

    Men stand up girls sit down that's all what people probably thought in the stone age

    February 10, 2020
    Reply
  77. D k said:

    Keep educating!! I need more information ! Thankyou guys!!!

    February 10, 2020
    Reply
  78. Digamas said:

    The fossil are now providing evidence to show several types of humans evolved at similar times across the globe, showing differences between Asian, African & European species. The Neanderthals were 1 of the species that died out.

    February 11, 2020
    Reply
  79. Alexander The Insane said:

    "have you ever wondered where walking came from?" No, not really. I just assumed Walking came from creatures that evolved to move on land with limbs. Like fins or something.

    February 11, 2020
    Reply
  80. Fire 27 said:

    No one can tell how human beings exists on earth, not even the frist one,the only proof we have of where we from is from a woman,nothing else, every living thing that was born, there eyes open up and there was nature, every human being that was created on earth ,they all ment to walk and run ,beside there's no such thing as human evolving from animal, the only evolve human evolve in dose days is to go from black the white due to different climate of where they find themselves ,,,,no sun.

    February 12, 2020
    Reply
  81. DSWynne said:

    The answer is: climate change, due to shifting of the poles. When the climate got colder in Germany, everyone went south for the winter, where the next stage of hominid evolution occurred.

    February 12, 2020
    Reply
  82. DSWynne said:

    Also: nice to know where white people come from…

    February 12, 2020
    Reply
  83. Lucas Sattva Lucas said:

    Great video and content. Thank you. I would like to know more about tools of ancient hominini species.

    February 12, 2020
    Reply
  84. M.D Records said:

    Wait, what. Who said taht. My father is a dinasoure? You homosapien..😒

    February 13, 2020
    Reply
  85. Rithwik Basrur said:

    I would love to jump into a black hole. Of course it is highly possible that by the time I am out, everyone I know would be long dead. So that sucks

    February 13, 2020
    Reply
  86. Taylor Reid said:

    Homo-sapiens created climate destruction since 1875, 85 years from now, they are no longer in existence, gone. Do you need evidence?

    February 14, 2020
    Reply
  87. Ashmeed Mohammed said:

    now hearing about guggenmosi, and it has taken its place as my favourite ancestor so far.

    February 14, 2020
    Reply
  88. Dylan T said:

    wait. you guys walk on 2 legs? ive been doing it all wrong?

    February 14, 2020
    Reply
  89. qazwery said:

    Didn't know we were family of the panini

    February 14, 2020
    Reply
  90. Brenda Cooper said:

    Of course we learned to walk first, we also lost our body hair, the other unique feature of humans, I suspect the hair vanished first and the mothers had to walk upright in order to carry the babies that could no longer cling to their hair. It took a long time and was bloody awkward, we didn't do it because we wanted to see over the grass, we didn't do it because we somehow knew we could take over the world in a few million years we did it to survive because if we left the kids alone they got eaten. When the trees thinned out the moms that could walk upright across the open grass carrying their kids had the advantage over those that could not. Tool use is something a lot of creatures have mastered, being able to pick up a tool and carry it from place to place is pretty much a human trait. Humanoids that were not currently carrying a kid had vacant hands that they found uses for. Chimps make spears for hunting but can't carry them very far since they use their hands for locomotion, bipedal humanoids could take their best spears and rocks with them, kind of ironic that it all started with humanoid pattern baldness.

    February 14, 2020
    Reply
  91. Viplav Chhabra said:

    How tall is she?

    February 14, 2020
    Reply
  92. Adam Gardiner said:

    You left out homojacksonus…bipedal but the walked backwards in a sliding motion.

    February 15, 2020
    Reply
  93. Shlovaski said:

    Calm down, it was adam and eve. Dont strain yourself

    February 15, 2020
    Reply
  94. Roy Roots said:

    To many may haves.

    February 15, 2020
    Reply
  95. A M said:

    So…Graham Hancock might be right, you say?

    February 15, 2020
    Reply
  96. WaterspoutsOfTheDeep said:

    People are still pretending humans evolved in the year 2020? wow cringe

    February 17, 2020
    Reply
  97. Jason Gastrich said:

    Thanks Maren! Very interesting. I hope these alleged transitional fossils aren’t just deformed humans though. I don’t trust anybody, but I appreciate your hard work. 🙏

    February 18, 2020
    Reply
  98. Kozak said:

    I'm curious how the Bili Apes of the Congo "Lion Killers" fit into the family tree. It is rumoured that they walk on two legs most of the time and nest on the ground. They are also the size of humans.

    February 21, 2020
    Reply
  99. Daniel Gomes Silva said:

    Tarzan

    February 26, 2020
    Reply
  100. Paul Walsh said:

    EUREKA right ?! I mean the idea of apes using their dextrous hands for swinging in branches left their legs dangling below them. To give their arms and hands a rest they would try to balance on other branches and just use their hands for stability using upper branches. Because the weight of their upper bodies had to be supported, their legs would develop well too. When these apes needed to forage or anything on the ground, being able to stand upright to see further around them for predators would be and evolutionary advantage. So the advent of bipedalism makes so much sense !
    I mean, I always knew this, but this video nicely encapsulates it.

    February 28, 2020
    Reply

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