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Walking on all fours is not 'devolution'

NIH/U.S. National Library of Medicine (CC BY-NC 3.0)

Walking on all fours is not 'devolution'

Uner Tan syndrome results in loss of balance and the need to walk on all fours. When it was first discovered, the syndrome was characterized by evolutionary biologist Uner Tan as a sign of “devolution,” a hypothesis that humans can devolve to have earlier, more primitive traits—like quadrupedalism. But new research debunks the idea, showing that the strides of those with Uner Tan are not at all similar to the gait of nonhuman primates, Pacific Standard reports. The study, published this month in PLOS ONE, analyzed video footage of a family with the syndrome and then compared it with the locomotion of other quadrupedal animals.

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