For example, African apes — chimps, bonobos and gorillas of the genus Gorilla — use knuckle-walking more frequently on the ground than in trees, and these apes and orangutans of the genus Pongo also climb and use suspensory locomotion in trees. Sign up for Nature Briefing. This absence of fossil information to reveal how African apes evolved makes questions about the nature of our common ancestor even trickier to answer. PubMed Article Google Scholar 2. Each living ape species is a result of its own long, evolutionary history, and, in the case of African apes, one that we often forget because there is so little fossil evidence of it. The top of the tibia is reinforced, and the ankle joint is stable, properties that are adaptations for resisting the higher load placed on the lower leg when moving on two limbs instead of four. Sign me up to receive the daily Nature Briefing email. Combined with a flexible elbow and hand bones indicating a powerful, grasping thumb and curved fingers, the forelimb has the telltale signs of arboreal suspension found in all living great apes. Nature Briefing An essential round-up of science news, opinion and analysis, delivered to your inbox every weekday.
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