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Titre du document / Document title

The Strength of Great Apes and the Speed of Humans

Auteur(s) / Author(s)

WALKER Alan (1) ;

Affiliation(s) du ou des auteurs / Author(s) Affiliation(s)

(1) Department of Anthropology and the Department of Biology at Pennsylvania State University (409 Carpenter Building, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, ETATS-UNIS

Résumé / Abstract

Cliff Jolly developed a causal model of human origins in his paper "The Seed-Eaters," published in 1970. He was one of the first to attempt this, and the paper has since become a classic. I do not have such grand goals; instead, I seek to understand a major difference between the living great apes and humans. More than 50 years ago, Maynard Smith and Savage (1956) showed that the musculoskeletal systems of mammals can be adapted for strength at one extreme and speed at the other but not both. Great apes are adapted for strength-chimpanzees have been shown to be about four times as strong as fit young humans when normalized for body size. The corresponding speed that human limb systems gain at the expense of power is critical for effective human activities such as running, throwing, and manipulation, including tool making. The fossil record can shed light on when the change from power to speed occurred. I outline a hypothesis that suggests that the difference in muscular performance between the two species is caused by chimpanzees having many fewer small motor units than humans, which leads them, in turn, to contract more muscle fibers earlier in any particular task. I outline a histological test of this hypothesis.

Revue / Journal Title

Current anthropology    ISSN  0011-3204 

Source / Source

2009, vol. 50, no2, pp. 229-234 [6 page(s) (article)] (1 p.)

Langue / Language

Anglais

Editeur / Publisher

University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, ETATS-UNIS  (1960) (Revue)

Mots-clés anglais / English Keywords

Vertebrata

;

Mammalia

;

Primates

;

Simioidea

;

Pan troglodytes

;

Striated muscle

;

Performance

;

Motor unit

;

Histology

;

Speed

;

Muscle strength

;

Animal

;

Human

;

Interspecific comparison

;

Mots-clés français / French Keywords

Vertebrata

;

Mammalia

;

Primates

;

Simioidea

;

Pongidae

;

Pan troglodytes

;

Muscle strié

;

Performance

;

Unité motrice

;

Histologie

;

Vitesse déplacement

;

Force musculaire

;

Animal

;

Homme

;

Comparaison interspécifique

;

Mots-clés espagnols / Spanish Keywords

Vertebrata

;

Mammalia

;

Primates

;

Simioidea

;

Pan troglodytes

;

Músculo estriado

;

Rendimiento

;

Unidad motriz

;

Histología

;

Velocidad desplazamiento

;

Fuerza muscular

;

Animal

;

Hombre

;

Comparación interespecífica

;

Localisation / Location

INIST-CNRS, Cote INIST : 1457, 35400018674789.0050

Nº notice refdoc (ud4) : 21331064



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