Why Did the Great Apes Rise? New research invalidates theory – knowledge


Hubert Filser

The picture is somewhat reminiscent of the biblical story of Adam and Eve. Fruit is hanging from a tree, and a great ape stretches, raises its upper body, and then plucks the fruit with its long arms. Anthropologists regard the search for fruit in forests as a possible reason why the musculoskeletal system of the early humans – researchers call them Hominoidea – first changed, and that the upright gait could have developed later at some point. But this theory is now in question: because two studies in the specialist magazine Science according to which, to stay with the metaphor, the Garden of Eden apparently looked different in the early Miocene, 21 million years ago. Large areas of grass were already growing between the trees, and the apes weren’t looking for fruit. They ate leaves and grasses.

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