Why Do Humans Have Butts? | Summary and Q&A

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March 14, 2021
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Why Do Humans Have Butts?

TL;DR

Human buttocks may have evolved to support walking, running, and hunting, which aided in the development of our large brains.

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Questions & Answers

Q: Why do humans have large buttocks compared to other animals?

The development of large buttocks in humans is likely due to the evolutionary advantages of walking, running, and hunting. Fat stores could be transported more efficiently when walking, supporting the development of our large brains. The gluteus maximus muscle stabilizes the body during running.

Q: How do scientists study the evolution of muscles when they are not usually preserved as fossils?

While muscles do not fossilize, scientists can make inferences about their evolution by studying the bones they attach to. By examining the pelvis of Homo erectus, which resembled a human pelvis, it is deduced that our ancestors had human-looking buttocks.

Q: Did the evolution of butts coincide with changes in human diet?

Yes, anthropologists believe that as the evolution of the human butt occurred, our diet also increased in protein. This correlation suggests that the ability to run and hunt for food may have influenced the development of human buttocks.

Q: How did the evolution of the human butt contribute to the development of our large brains?

The ability to store fat and protein through the development of the buttocks assisted in the growth and functioning of our brains. Walking on two legs allowed for the transportation of more fat, providing energy for brain development.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Human butts are made of fat and muscle, with each having its own evolutionary role. Fat stores may have developed along with our large brains when our ancestors began walking on two legs.

  • The gluteus maximus, the largest muscle in our bodies, is used when running. It stabilizes the body and pulls it back with each stride.

  • The evolution of the human butt coincides with the development of features that make us good runners, suggesting that butts were advantageous for hunting.

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