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Title: Acquisition of terrestrial life by human ancestors influenced by forest microclimate
Authors: Takemoto, Hiroyuki
Author's alias: 竹元, 博幸
Keywords: Behavioural ecology
Biological anthropology
Evolutionary ecology
Issue Date: 18-Jul-2017
Publisher: Springer Nature
Journal title: Scientific Reports
Volume: 7
Thesis number: 5741
Abstract: Bipedalism, terrestriality and open habitat were thought to be linked to each other in the course of human evolution. However, recent paleontological evidence has revealed that early hominins evolved in a wooded, humid environment. Did the evolutionary process from arboreal to terrestrial life actually require open habitat? Here I report the seasonal change in forest utilization height of West African chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and central African bonobos (Pan paniscus), and show that the difference in terrestriality between these two species was mainly caused by ambient temperature differences between the two study sites. The key factor was the vertical structure of the microclimate in forests and its seasonality. The results suggest the possibility that human terrestrial life began inside a forest rather than in the savannah. Increasing seasonality and prolongation of the dry months throughout the late Miocene epoch alone could have promoted terrestrial life of our human ancestors.
Description: 人類が地上に降りた理由、森の気温と季節の出現によるものか --チンパンジー、ボノボの生活様式から仮説を提示--. 京都大学プレスリリース. 2017-07-19.
Rights: © The Author(s) 2017. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit
DOI(Published Version): 10.1038/s41598-017-05942-5
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