Avoiding the Planet of the Apes

The question of exactly how humans fought their way to the top of the food chain may have become a little easier to answer.  As KJZZ’s Tony Ganzer explains, all humans had to do was stand-up.

TG: In the late 1960s Rod Searling’s Twilight Zone kicked off a kind of monkey madness, with groundbreaking insights into the Planet of the Apes.  In this scene, planet leaders try a man for being a man,

Ape cut:  “This exhibit is a man, and therefore has no rights under ape law.  He is a man isn’t he? He’s unlike any man you know..ANSWER THE QUESTION DOCTOR.”

Image

Man stands on trial before the Ape court.

TG: Fortunately this is not the way things turned out.  Humans may have gotten a leg-up along the way.

Reichlan:  “It was probably one of the first adaptations that made homonids more human.”

TG: David Reichlan is an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Arizona.  He was part of a team of researchers looking at how much energy chimpanzees use while walking, as compared to their human counterparts.

Reichlan: “Humans use 75 percent less energy than chimpanzees giving huge benefits over chimps.”

TG: These benefits over chimp energy usage would’ve allowed early humans to move more efficiently, and thus spend energy elsewhere.

Reichlan: “Some savings would then have been used on reproductions which is the name of the game when it comes to evolution.”

TG: If this is such a good idea, why haven’t the chimps figured it out?  Reichlan says chimpanzees were probably never under the pressure to change their movement, and a move toward walking may have taken away from their tree climbing skills.  But still, understanding why bipedalism, or two-leg walking, evolved may give a look into early humans.

Reichlan: “Understanding why bipedalism evolved is understanding why humans evolved essentially.”

TG: And fortunately humans made it to the top of the food chain.

Ape cut:  “He is not being tried, he is being disposed of…”

For KJZZ, I’m Tony Ganzer.

Have something to add?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.