Fighting for Success

Stand and fight often means more than stand your ground. Many species who walk on all fours will often stand up on their rear leg to fight. Grizzly bears, for example look pretty ferocious on all fours, but become positively awe-inspiring after they rear up to attack. Carrier of the U of Utah in a paper published on Wednesday (1) suggests that gaining a fighting advantage by waling on each other from our hind legs may be a reason that our ancestors became bipedal.

There is a big advantage in the force delivered by a blow if we are standing and striking down compared to that when we are on all fours and striking up or sideways. In addition when you become good on your two hind legs, you can in the words of Ali “Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.”

Everybody likes a winner, don’t they? Carrier goes on to propose that as we get taller, our advantage in striking force and reach gives us an advantage and that in turn makes us more attractive to the females of the species. Apparently tall men get more responses in dating advertisements than short men, and also have more children than short guys. Now where did I put those cowboy boots with the big heels? I know they're here somewhere.


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