Kurdish family walks on all fours

Mar 07, 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: New study uncovers factors in students' reporting of weapons at school

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Sloths are no slouches when it comes to evolution

Sep 10, 2014

Today's sloths might be known as slow, small animals, but their ancestors developed large body sizes at an amazing rate, according to an evolutionary reconstruction published today in the open access journal ...

We are all made of stars

Sep 02, 2014

Astronomers spend most of their time contemplating the universe, quite comfortable in the knowledge that we are just a speck among billions of planets, stars and galaxies. But last week, the Australian astronomical ...

Invasive insect threatens iconic Florida citrus

Aug 24, 2014

The tourists stream to Florida in their cars, intent on a week at Disney or a sugar-sand seashore or a nonstop party on South Beach. Road weary and thirsty, they pull over at one of the state's five official ...

Water in the Netherlands–past, present, and future

Aug 21, 2014

The storm in the Netherlands began on a Saturday afternoon in February 1953. Ria Geluk, who was 6 years old, told me that it peaked during the night when nationwide communications were on their nightly pause. ...

JIBO robot could become part of the family

Jul 17, 2014

JIBO, measuring at about 11 inches tall and weighing approximately 6 pounds, is a robotic device designed for people to use as a companion and helper at home. , The team behind JIBO aims to bring it to market ...

Recommended for you

Marcellus drilling boom may have led to too many hotel rooms

6 hours ago

Drilling in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale region led to a rapid increase in both the number of hotels and hotel industry jobs, but Penn State researchers report that the faltering occupancy rate may signal that there are ...

User comments : 0