Title

The Natural History of Human Gait and Posture: Part 2. Hip and Thigh

Publication Title

Gait & Posture

Publication Date

1-2005

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.1016/j.gaitpost.2004.06.010

Keywords

Wolff's law, osteoporosis, Australopithecus, cancellous bone, hominid

Disciplines

Anthropology

Abstract

The human fossil record is one of the most complete for any mammal. A basal ancestral species, Australopithecus afarensis, exhibits a well-preserved postcranium that permits reconstruction of important events in the evolution of our locomotor skeleton. When compared to those of living apes and humans, it provides insights into the origin and design of the modern human frame. Evolutionary aspects of the human hip and thigh are reviewed, including the unusual corticotrabecular structure of the human proximal femur, and our markedly elongated lower limb. It is postulated that the latter may be more related to birthing capacity than to locomotion.