I think because I run?

From ScienceBlog

A new study assembles evidence that humans evolved and human anatomy looks the way it does because our ancestors were more likely to survive if they could run. Humans evolved from ape-like ancestors because they needed to run long distances — perhaps to hunt animals or scavenge carcasses on Africa’s vast savannah — and the ability to run shaped our anatomy, making us look like we do today.

Comments (12)

  1. Uwe Keim says:

    I knew that my sympathy for running was because of my genes 🙂

  2. Kevin Daly says:

    I remember reading an article along these lines in Analog ages ago…they made the point that a lot of our physical peculiarities such as sweating and relative hairlessness suit animals that not only run but run for extended periods of time (unlike cheetahs), and that for whatever reason they evolved they would have been crucial when our ancestors moved to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle.

  3. Matt says:

    I’ll insert the obligatory comment detailing how we will evolve in another 10,000 years – sqaure eyes, padded backsides and incredibly strong index fingers…

  4. jack says:

    Oh sure….It all makes perfect sense now

  5. themaffeo says:

    I dunno, I just dont buy it. Humans are extreamly slow compared to most other predators. And even the running for extended periods of time doesnt make a whole lot of sense to me. Just go to the zoo and try to outrun an elephant, wolfe, hippo, crocidile, lion, cheeta, ape, or pretty much any other 4-legged creature and you’ll find out how well "distance" running will help you escape =) Even for traveling purposes (hunter gatherer), lets say a cheeta can sustaine its top speed for 5 minutes max (i’m just making up numbers here), in those five minutes, it would cover the distance that a human runner (running a 5 minute mile) would take a full half hour to run. 4 legged movement is much more efficient than two. Even freakin apes are faster than us.

    I get the whole evolution thing, but I dont get the "standing upright" part… it seems to me that a gorilla is much more adapted to its enviornment that a weak little human. Oh well. We’ll just have to wait for some fossiles i guess.

  6. Andree says:

    Does that mean we will turn back to apes because we are driving now 🙂 .. Just kidding

  7. Philip says:

    You’re not far off, Andree. We’re already beginning to hunch over our keyboards 🙂

  8. andrew says:

    Our endurance allowed us to pursue prey for days on end. Sure a cheetah can run faster than us for 5 minutes but did you know that they need to sleep 16 hours a day?

    Our whole musculoskeletal structure is designed to allow us to endure on very little sleep & food while still supporting incredibly high brain function.

    You can be a 5 ton columbian mammoth & you still need to sleep…

  9. Merak says:

    "to endure on very little sleep & food while still supporting incredibly high brain function."

    Do you work in the same office as me ?

  10. MBA says:

    Helpful For MBA Fans.