Many researchers believe that the common ancestor of apes and humans was built for life in the trees. The major adaptation of the hominid branch of our family tree was bipedalism, the ability to walk on two legs. This ability allowed our ancestors to cover long distances of open ground on foot, and freed their hands for making and using tools. Looking at the bones of our closest living ape relative can tell us something of the physical adaptations that enabled our ancestors to efficiently walk long distances.
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