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Keywords:

  • Papio anubis;
  • Bipedalism;
  • Human evolution

Abstract

The bipedal behavior of a troop of olive baboons (Papio anubis) is described. Bipedalism is relatively rare but nevertheless occurs in a wide variety of situations, although bipedalism during feeding occurs much more frequently than in other situations. The incidence of bipedalism varies between different age-sex classes and between individuals within age-sex classes. This pattern of bipedalism occurred within an overall adaptive response, particularly in feeding behavior, which was similar to that of the gelada baboon (Theropithecus gelada). The data on bipedalism is used together with an existing model of early hominid differentiation based on T. gelada to indicate the types of bipedal behavior which might have occurred in early hominid small object feeders and to suggest how a bipedal pattern of this type might have served as a basis for the action of selection for a more committedly bipedal pattern at later stages of hominid evolution.