- Human Evolution Research
- Climate and Human Evolution
- Anthropocene: The Age of Humans
- Asian Research Projects
- East African Research Projects
- Human Origins Program Team
- What's Hot In Human Origins?
- Fossil Forensics: Interactive
- E. A. Mammal Dentition Database
- Human Evolution Evidence
- 3D Collection
- Human Fossils
- Human Family Tree
- Timeline Interactive
- Human Characteristics
- About Us
Walking upright on shorter legs
This 4.1 million year old upper tibia (shin bone) fossil, KNM-KP 29285, comes from Australopithecus anamensis, an early human species that lived near open areas and dense woods. Their bodies had evolved in ways that enabled them to walk upright most of the time while still being able to climb trees. As a result, they could take advantage of both habitats. The top part of the tibia (where the lower leg meets the knee) is concave, or depressed from stress. This shows that the individual often put weight on the bone—evidence of standing upright. The lower part of the tibia (where the lower leg meets the ankle) is wider or thicker—evidence that it acted as a type of shock absorber as this individual walked .
Date of discovery:1994
Discovered by:Kamoya Kimeu
Age:About 4.1 million years old
<bold>Strong knee</bold> Every time you take a step, you briefly stand on one leg—putting stress on your leg bones. The wide area of bone just below this early human’s knee joint is a result of that stress. It provides strong evidence that this individual walked upright.