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Wild chimpanzee behavior suggests that a savanna-mosaic habitat did not support the 4 emergence of hominin terrestrial bipedalism

Drummond-Clarke, Rhianna C., Kivell, Tracy L., Sarringhaus, Lauren, Stewart, Fiona A., Humle, Tatyana, Piel, Alex (2022) Wild chimpanzee behavior suggests that a savanna-mosaic habitat did not support the 4 emergence of hominin terrestrial bipedalism. Science Advances, 8 (50). Article Number eadd9752. ISSN 2375-2548. (doi:10.1126/sciadv.add9752) (KAR id:98316)

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Bipedalism, a defining feature of the human lineage, is thought to have evolved as forests retreated in the late Miocene-Pliocene. Chimpanzees living in analogous habitats to early hominins offer a unique opportunity to investigate the ecological drivers of bipedalism that cannot be addressed via the fossil record alone. We investigated positional behavior and terrestriality in a savanna-mosaic community of chimpanzees ( ) in the Issa Valley, Tanzania as the first test in a living ape of the hypothesis that wooded, savanna habitats were a catalyst for terrestrial bipedalism. Contrary to widely accepted hypotheses of increased terrestriality selecting for habitual bipedalism, results indicate that trees remained an essential component of the hominin adaptive niche, with bipedalism evolving in an arboreal context, likely driven by foraging strategy.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1126/sciadv.add9752
Projects: 819960
Uncontrolled keywords: Pan troglodytes, Grassland, Animals, Fossils, Humans, Hominidae, Trees, Biological Evolution, Ecosystem
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Funders: European Research Council (
Depositing User: Tracy Kivell
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2022 09:38 UTC
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2023 11:42 UTC
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Drummond-Clarke, Rhianna C.:
Kivell, Tracy L.:
Sarringhaus, Lauren:
Humle, Tatyana:
Piel, Alex:
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