The pelvis of Ardipithecus shows the hominid could both walk upright and climb trees
Mauricio Anton/Science Source
A famous 4.4-million-year-old member of the human evolutionary family was hip enough to evolve an upright gait without losing any tree-climbing prowess.
The pelvis from a partial Ardipithecus ramidus skeleton nicknamed Ardi (SN: 1/16/10, p. 22) bears evidence of an efficient, humanlike walk combined with plenty of hip power for apelike climbing, says a team led by biological anthropologists Elaine Kozma and Herman Pontzer of City University of New York. Although researchers have often assumed that the evolution of walking in hominids required at least a partial sacrifice of climbing abilities, Ardi avoided that trade-off, the scientists report the week of April 2 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“Ardi evolved a solution to an upright stance, with powerful hips for climbing that