The lower limb and mechanics of walking in Australopithecus sediba.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The discovery of a relatively complete Australopithecus sediba adult female skeleton permits a detailed locomotor analysis in which joint systems can be integrated to form a comprehensive picture of gait kinematics in this late australopith. Here we describe the lower limb anatomy of Au. sediba and hypothesize that this species walked with a fully extended leg and with an inverted foot during the swing phase of bipedal walking. Initial contact of the lateral foot with the ground resulted in a large pronatory torque around the joints of the foot that caused extreme medial weight transfer (hyperpronation) into the toe-off phase of the gait cycle (late pronation). These bipedal mechanics are different from those often reconstructed for other australopiths and suggest that there may have been several forms of bipedalism during the Plio-Pleistocene.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • DeSilva, JM; Holt, KG; Churchill, SE; Carlson, KJ; Walker, CS; Zipfel, B; Berger, LR

Published Date

  • April 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 340 / 6129

Start / End Page

  • 1232999 -

PubMed ID

  • 23580534

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1095-9203

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0036-8075

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1126/science.1232999


  • eng