Kurdish family walks on all fours

March 7, 2006

Five members of a Kurdish family in Turkey, who can only walk naturally on all fours, are being hailed as a unique insight into human evolution.

Scientists told the Times of London the family might provide invaluable information on how humans evolved from four-legged hominids, developing the ability to walk on two feet more than 3 million years ago.

Two daughters and a son have only walked using two palms and two feet, with their extended legs, while another daughter and son occasionally manage a form of two-footed walking, the Times reported, noting all five can stand upright, but only for a short time.

Last year's discovery of the family in rural southern Turkey has produced a scientific debate: Some researchers believe genetic faults caused the siblings to regress in a form of "backward evolution," while other scientists claim genes triggered brain damage.

But Nicholas Humphrey, a London School of Economics evolutionary psychologist, told the Times weeks of study indicate their method of walking is a long-term pattern of behavior and not a hoax.

"However they arrived at this point, we have adult human beings walking like ancestors several million years ago," Humphrey said.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: A meal and a webcam form unlikely recipe for S. Korean fame

Related Stories

A meal and a webcam form unlikely recipe for S. Korean fame

August 19, 2015

Every evening, 14-year-old Kim Sung-jin orders fried chicken, delivery pizza or Chinese food to eat in a small room in his family's home south of Seoul. He gorges on food as he chats before a live camera with hundreds, sometimes ...

The truth about sharks

July 28, 2015

Danger: shark attack (or more properly, say scientists, shark bite). With sharks swimming ever closer to shore this summer—or seeming to—and crossing paths with surfers and bathers, what's going on?

Software turns smartphones into tools for medical research

July 27, 2015

Jody Kearns doesn't like to spend time obsessing about her Parkinson's disease. The 56-year-old dietitian from Syracuse, New York, had to give up bicycling because the disorder affected her balance. But she still works, drives ...

Recommended for you

New Horizons team selects potential Kuiper Belt flyby target

August 29, 2015

NASA has selected the potential next destination for the New Horizons mission to visit after its historic July 14 flyby of the Pluto system. The destination is a small Kuiper Belt object (KBO) known as 2014 MU69 that orbits ...

Seeing quantum motion

August 28, 2015

Consider the pendulum of a grandfather clock. If you forget to wind it, you will eventually find the pendulum at rest, unmoving. However, this simple observation is only valid at the level of classical physics—the laws ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.