Time and Energy: The Ecological Context for the Evolution of Bipedalism

  • Robert A. Foley
  • Sarah Elton


This paper is concerned with explanations for the evolution of bipedalism. Its general point is a very simple one—that the occurrence of bipedalism is context specific. The pattern of hominid evolution, as much as that of any other lineage, reflects the costs and benefits of the way an animal is structured and behaves, and this ratio is entirely dependent upon when and where it is occurring. Historically the context for bipedalism has been the general characteristics of the environment—savanna grasslands, open environments, patchy woodland versus forest. This remains important, but here we shall add a new consideration, that of time budgets, which provides a more specific ecological context for considering the energetics of bipedalism.


Energetic Cost Modern Human Time Budget Ecological Context Feeding Time 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert A. Foley
    • 1
  • Sarah Elton
    • 1
  1. 1.Human Evolutionary Biology Research Group, Department of Biological AnthropologyUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeEngland

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