How Prehistoric Obstetric Practices Gave Humans Bipedalism and Big
Brains: An Evolutionary Anatomical Review
- Craig Smith
AbstractTheir radically large brains and obligate bipedalism set humans apart
from the rest of the primates. These features are studied in conjunction
with their relationship to obstetric practices found universally in
modern humans but hypothesized also to have emerged in Australopithecus.
Given the emergence of modern-human obstetric practices as necessary for
maternal-and-infant survival during parturition, I hypothesize that
birth assistance must in the prehistoric past have become indispensable
to the ongoing evolution of bipedalism and a big brain in the human
lineage. Beginning at a critical point in our prehistoric past,
obstetrics began giving humans both bipedalism and big brains.