Thesis title: Factoring the Hominin Infant into the Origin of Bipedalism
Models of the origin of hominin bipedalism are legion. They are also notoriously difficult to compare and evaluate. I argue in my thesis that most of them omit or underestimate a crucial variable - the role of the infant. Overwhelmingly, the transition to bipedalism has been modelled for adults. Infants, if they feature at all, are often seen as little more than hungry luggage. My aims are to model the infants themselves and their likely effects on the locomotion and behaviour of adults, then to consider the effects which the different scenarios for bipedalism's origin would have had on them . This will lead to a new way of evaluating the plausibility of the competing scenarios.