Did Sahelanthropus tchadensis walk on two legs?

Around seven million years ago, herds of wild horses, elephants and antelopes roamed the vast savannah of Chad. In some places the sand tongues of the desert jutted into the rolling grasslands, in other places the savannah bordered a lake. Crocodiles were encamped in the cool of the water, which was densely lined with trees. A monkey-like creature was moving between the trees. It scrambled through the branches and jumped to the ground. And then? Did it continue on all fours – or on two legs?

Researchers have been arguing about this question for almost 20 years. It’s about nothing less than the search for the first pre-human and whether he walked on two legs. Now paleoanthropologists, led by Guillaume Daver and Franck Guy from the Université de Poitiers, have presented a new bone analysis of that ape-like creature in the specialist magazine “Nature”. But their study does not solve the old dispute. On the contrary …

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