Lucy's flat feet: The relationship between the ankle and rearfoot arching in early hominins

  • de Silva J
  • Throckmorton Z
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Abstract

In the Plio-Pleistocene, the hominin foot evolved from a grasping appendage to a stiff, propulsive lever. Central to this transition was the development of the longitudinal arch, a structure that helps store elastic energy and stiffen the foot during bipedal locomotion. Direct evidence for arch evolution, however, has been somewhat elusive given the failure of soft-tissue to fossilize. Paleoanthropologists have relied on footprints and bony correlates of arch development, though little consensus has emerged as to when the arch evolved.

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Authors

  • Jeremy M. de Silva

  • Zachary J. Throckmorton

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