So, men have been making decisions based on sex for at least 4.4 million years

That’s the latest news from National Geographic on the Ethiopian find of Ardi.

So why did her species become bipedal while it was still living partly in the trees, especially since walking on two legs is a much less efficient way of getting about?

According to Owen Lovejoy of Kent State University, it all comes down to food, and sex.

In apes—both modern apes and, presumably, the ancient ancestors of Ardipithecus—males find mates the good old-fashioned apish way: by fighting with other males for access to fertile females…

Let’s suppose that some lesser male, with poor little stubby canines, figures out that he can entice a fertile female into mating by bringing her some food. That sometimes happens among living chimpanzees, for instance when a female rewards a male for presenting her with a tasty gift of colobus monkey.

Among Ardipithecus’s ancestors, such a strategy could catch on if searching for food required a lot of time and exposure to predators. Males would be far more successful food-providers if they had their hands free to carry home loads of fruits and tubers—which would favor walking on two legs…

Hey, the headline at least picked up a chuckle on the homefront!


  1. Randy in Richmond says:

    I thought men walked upright because it’s easier to dribble the ball or open a door for the ladies.

  2. Hence why some of us can’t decide on anything.