, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 913-921

Chimpanzee bipedal locomotion in the Gombe National Park, East Africa

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Abstract

An adult male chimpanzee in the natural habitat has been observed to walk predominantly bipedally after a total forelimb paralysis in 1966. The major differences from previously described bipedal chimpanzee gait are (1) one third of the femoral extension is posterior to the hip joint in propulsion, (2) excursion of the swinging foot is close to midline, due to adduction of the lower hindlimb in swing and propulsive phases, (3) depressed pelvic tilt is on the side of the swinging limb, (4) thoracic vertebrae rotate and are vertical and erect, and (5) there is only a moderate lateral sway of the midline. This locomotory complex is interpreted as individual variability and suggests an evolutionary model for the origin of hominid bipedal locomotion.