Can it really come as a revelation to anyone to hear that humans evolved to be pursuit predators?
The evolution of a physique for long-distance running is what made humans look the way we do now - whether winning a marathon, nursing a strained Achilles' tendon or sitting on an ample gluteus maximus in front of the TV.Perhaps there's some new wrinkle in the actual Nature paper that I'm not aware of, but I see absolutely nothing new or interesting in these claims. The ~1.6 million year old skeleton of Nariokotome Boy (KNM WT 15000) provided plenty of evidence that adaptations for endurance running occurred long ago in the course of our evolution - if anything, we've actually lost a bit of efficiency in this department since then, the better in order for the pelvis to accomodate larger baby brains (the structure of the male and female pelvis seem to be genetically linked, so if one changes, so will the other).
The apparently crucial role of running in human evolution, overlooked for the most part in previous research, is being proposed today in an article in the journal Nature by two American scientists.
While walking upright first set early human ancestors apart from their ape cousins, the scientists write, it may have been the ability to run long distances with springy step over the African savanna that influenced the transition to today's human body form.