Biomechanology, Neuro-Biomechanics, and Neurology

Human and Animal Posture and Locomotion

First published in 2003 - Last edited in May 2022 by Luka Tunjic. © All rights reserved.

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Examples of feral (wild) children tell us that young humans who have been adopted by animals have adopted four-leg stances and many characteristics of an animal’s motor skills and behaviour.

Young four-legged animals adopted by humans have never adopted a bipedal stance and they have never adopted any significant characteristic of humans’ motor skills and behaviour.

It seems that humans still didn’t completely adopt the bipedal stance and upright body posture.

This is to conclude that for humans, to some extent; it is still natural to walk on four limbs.

1. Humans are not born to walk upright.

2. Humans have to learn to walk upright.

3. Humans are still not born to use bipedal locomotion and an upright body posture.

4. Humans have to learn to walk on two legs as well as it has to learn to maintain an upright body posture.

In early infancy, doing any activity on two legs is much more strenuous than on four legs. It is much easier to maintain balance-postural stability using the legs and arms like all other four-legged animals than by using just two legs.

In children, a driving force to adopt a bipedal stance and upright body posture is the wish to imitate the surrounding social environment and to be a part of the social environment - to be accepted by the community.

Acquiring the ability to walk with an upright body posture is correlated with acquiring the ability to talk.

Attempting to walk on two legs requires more mental and nervous input than what is necessary to walk on four limbs. The process of learning to walk provides a physical and mental challenge. The process of learning to walk is at the same time the process of acquiring postural strength, postural stability and motor skill and on the other side; it is the process of acquiring cognitive ability.

1. Acquiring appropriate motor skills is an essential condition for appropriate neurological development.

2. Acquiring the appropriate motor skill in infancy and early childhood is an essential condition for the development of human posture and human walking and running gait.

According to the research of the University of Exeter, published online in the journal Biological Conservation: “The animals were also more susceptible to starvation and disease than their wild counterparts and less able to form successful social groups.” It seems that there is more attention and concern given to how animals born in captivity develop than how changing environments affect a child’s motor, emotional and social skills development.

1) All animals of the same sort have almost an identical walking and running gait and identical body posture.

2) All animals have almost an identical shape of the musculoskeletal system.

1. Between humans, there are big differences in gait and posture.

2. People with similar gait and posture have a similar musculoskeletal system.

Involvement in physical activities that are counterproductive for motor skills and posture like walking on a treadmill, driving stationary bikes, and jumping on bouncy castles and trampolines leads to the development of weird physical skills and at the same time it negatively affects the already acquired motor skill.

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