When did the first hominins start to walk upright? How long ago did the first bipedal species emerge?
I think that the answer to these questions goes back a lot further than we all previously thought and a few days ago this was confirmed by a new study into an upper leg bone from a Sahelanthropus tchadensis.
The leg bone was analysed and it was concluded that the leg bone suggests that Sahelanthropus tchadensis regularly walked upright, while their forearm bones show that they still spent a lot of time in the trees.
Bipedalism is usually considered as the major milestone that put our ancestral species on an evolutionary path that differed from the other species that eventually died out or led to the chimps.
Now that Sahelanthropus is suggested to be a bipedal species they may play a role in our own evolutionary tree, although there are some scientists that are on the fence about this paper and therefore contest the possibility of bipedalism.
It’s not considered to be the smoking gun for the oldest evidence of bipedalism, although it does strongly suggest Sahelanthropus to be a bipedal species, the evidence does point more to a bipedal species instead of a quadrupedal species.
Some palaeoanthropologists do recognize some features in the femur that suggest bipedalism and other features in the fossilized remains that suggest that Sahelanthropus was more hominin than ape like.