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First day of the spring semester

Jan Simek, professor of anthropology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, recently explored the question “When and how was walking invented?” for The Conversation.

112783_jan_simek The question is important because many anthropologists see bipedalism—walking on two legs—as one of the defining characteristics of hominins, or modern humans, and their ancestors. It is difficult to give a simple answer, though, because bipedalism did not just appear one day. It went through a gradual evolution that began many millions of years ago.

The shape of a creature’s bones and the way they fit together can tell the story of how that body moved when it was alive. And anthropologists can find other evidence in the landscape that indicates how ancient people walked. Read the full article on The Conversation.

UT is a member of The Conversation, an independent source for news articles and informed analysis written by the academic community and edited by journalists for the general public. Through the partnership, we seek to provide a better understanding of the important work of our faculty.



Lindsey Owen (865-974-6375,