Fossil raises puzzling questions about how upright body plan of great apes evolved

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tags: archaeology, fossil, Sivapithecus




For decades, scientists have recognized the upright posture exhibited by chimpanzees, gorillas, and humans as a key feature separating the “great apes” from other primates, but a host of questions about the evolution of that posture — particularly how and when it emerged — have long gone unanswered.

For more than a century, the belief was that the posture, known as the orthograde body plan, evolved only once, as part of a suite of features, including broad torsos and mobile forelimbs, in an early ancestor of modern apes.

But a fossilized hipbone of an ape called Sivapithecus is challenging that belief.




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