A comparison of primates and modern humans

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A comparison of primates and modern humans

Share Shares If engineers could design the most efficient human body, it would likely look considerably different than our actual anatomy. We have upper back pain and lower back pain and hordes of chiropractors promising to realign our vertebrae. Are our spine problems all due to spending too much time hunched over computers and lifting with our backs and not our legs?

Well, while those things undoubtedly exacerbate the troubles, scientists say the overall design of our spine is also to blame.

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However, when we started walking consistently upright, about 4 million years agoour spines gradually lengthened and became more S-shaped in order to balance our torsos over our hips and feet.

Having a curved spine causes increased stress on certain points of the column, which results in all-too-familiar ailments, such as slipped disks, lumbar pain, scoliosis, kyphosis hunched backand more.

Furthermore, the way we walk one foot in front of the other and alternating arms creates a twisting motion that can eventually cause the discs between the vertebrae to wear down and lead to a herniated disc. No other primate aside from our immediate ancestors suffers from such issues. For instance, our early ancestors were never sure where their next meal would come from, so the body developed a way to store energy, in the form of fat, for later use.

Hence, the obesity epidemic and rise in type 2 diabetes. Although we could avoid the flab if we just exercised more and ate healthier to begin with, if we overindulge and become fat, a change in lifestyle may not be enough to get and keep us thin.

Also, after losing weight, the emotional part of our brains has a greater response to food, while the part of our brains governing restraint is less active.

A comparison of primates and modern humans

Essentially, we get a bad case of the munchies and no inner voice telling us to quit stuffing our faces. These internal defense mechanisms can continue for years or possibly our entire lives.

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Yet scientists say those folks are exceptions to the rule and to remain thin they must stay hyper-vigilant by forever counting calories, measuring food, exercising hours a day, and constantly watching the scale. Not to mention, people who have lost weight automatically burn fewer calories doing the same activities as compared to people of the same size who never lost weight, which means former fatties have to work twice as hard to stay thin.

According to evolutionary biologist Dr. Stephen Stearnsmany of our bodily responses are holdovers from the Pleistocene era from 2 million to 10, years ago. Even dangerous or anxiety-causing dreams, such as showing up to work naked or falling off a cliff, may result from our Pleistocene brains telling us the night is an unsafe time.

Yet today, these things are commonplace.

Brains | The Smithsonian Institution's Human Origins Program

Constantly having to balance societal pressure against our natural instincts is a recipe for unease and stress. It seems by evolving to stand upright, we put much more force on our lower limbs, of which the knees take a brunt of the burden.

Pan n. The genus to which the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and the pygmy chimpanzee, or bonobo (Pan paniscus), belong. CHIMPANZEE HABITAT AND DISTRIBUTION. pancreas /PAN-kree-əs/ n. A large gland, situated behind the stomach in humans. Its thicker end (the "head") is attached to the grupobittia.com slimmer end (the "tail") extends as far as the grupobittia.com pancreas produces an internal . Buy Primates and Philosophers: How Morality Evolved (The University Center for Human Values Series) on grupobittia.com FREE SHIPPING on qualified orders. "The vermiform appendage—in which some recent medical writers have vainly endeavoured to find a utility—is the shrunken remainder of a large and normal intestine of a remote ancestor.

In fact, when we run, our knees have to absorb forces multiple times our body weight. And, because of our relatively wide pelvis structure also a result of bipedalismour thighbones are angled inward toward the knees.

This is good for overall balance since it places our feet under our center of gravity, but this awkward angle destabilizes the knee joint itself and makes us susceptible to injury. To accommodate upright walking, our feet became less flexible and developed supportive arches.

Not to mention the fact that the foot has about 26 bones, which came in handy when our feet needed to be flexible and grasp tree branches, but now all those bones just create more potential for things to go wrong. However, the ostrich has walked upright for million years, compared to just 5 million for hominids.

So, perhaps after another million years or so, we will have fused ankle and leg bones and only two toes.

A comparison of primates and modern humans

If our feet would have remained like those of Ardipithecus ramidus a human from 4. That being said, the human body is highly adaptable and some of us, like the African pygmy in the above video, can climb trees even ridiculously thin trees with as much ease as a chimp.

It simply requires a lot of practice starting from an early age, really strong calf muscles, and training the feet and ankles to be more flexible.

In comparison, the average person would shatter his ankle if he were to try and bend his foot to the same angle the pygmies use when climbing. In female apes the birth canal is oriented in the same position throughout and the baby ape can come out smoothly in one straight shot.

On the other hand, the birth canal of female humans shifts 90 degrees at one point, which means women generally need another person to twist and maneuver the baby through the many protrusions of the pelvic cavity. Although it did get larger for the first 2 million years of our evolution, it has since lost a tennis ball—sized chunk of mass.

Consequently, with these dim-witted folks allowed to stay in the gene pool, our brains have progressively gotten smaller. Followers of this theory cite bonobos and dogs as evidence, since these relatively peaceful animals both have smaller brains as compared to their more violent respective relatives, chimps and wolves.Human Origins; Human Evolution Research.

Climate and Human Evolution. Climate Effects on Human Evolution; Survival of the Adaptable; East African Research Projects. What We Do ; Members & Member Resources ; Members Thoughts on Science, Religion & Human Origins (video) Science, Religion, Evolution and Creationism: Primer.

Buy Primates and Philosophers: How Morality Evolved (The University Center for Human Values Series) on grupobittia.com FREE SHIPPING on qualified orders. "Frans de Waal has achieved that state of grace for a scientist--doing research that is both rigorous and wildly creative, and in the process has redefined how we think about the most interesting realms of behavior among nonhuman primates--cooperation, reconciliation, a sense of fairness, and even the rudiments of morality.

A primate (/ ˈ p r aɪ m eɪ t / () PRY-mayt) is a mammal of the order grupobittia.com taxonomy, primates include two distinct lineages, strepsirrhines and grupobittia.comes arose from ancestors that lived in the trees of tropical forests; many primate characteristics represent adaptations to life in this challenging grupobittia.com primate species remain at least partly arboreal.

Human evolution is the evolutionary process that led to the emergence of anatomically modern humans, beginning with the evolutionary history of primates – in particular genus Homo – and leading to the emergence of Homo sapiens as a distinct species of the hominid family, the great grupobittia.com process involved the gradual development of traits such as human bipedalism and language, as well as.

10 Comparisons Between Chimps and Humans - Listverse