walking

Not Exactly Rocket Science

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In 2007, Jan Souman dropped three volunteers into the Sahara desert and watched as they walked for several miles, in an attempt to walk in a straight line. Souman was interested in the widespread belief that lost travelers end up walking in circles, a belief that has never been properly tested but has nonetheless become…

Seals and sea-lions gracefully careen through today’s oceans with the help of legs that have become wide, flat flippers. But it was not always this way. Seals evolved from carnivorous ancestors that walked on land with sturdy legs; only later did these evolve into the flippers that the family is known for. Now, a beautifully…

Walking on two legs, or bipedalism, immediately sets us apart form other apes. It frees our arms for using tools and weapons and is a key part of our evolutionary success. Scientists have put forward a few theories to explain how our upright gait evolved, but the ‘savannah theory‘ is by far the most prolific.…