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Missing Link Located? Family Walks on All Fours, Baffling Scientists Who Study Abnormal Evolutionary Trait

Family Who Walk on All Fours Baffles Scientists: Sources
Source: 60 Minutes Australia; YouTube

Scientists are baffled over family members in Turkey who walk on all fours.

Oct. 3 2023, Published 10:05 a.m. ET

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Members of a family in Turkey appear to possibly be the missing link between humans and animals in an evolutionary way.

According to the Daily Star, members of a family in Turkey have a quadrupedal gait, meaning they walk on all fours.

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First documented by the BBC in The Family That Walks on All Fours in 2006, the Ulas family was recently featured in a 60 Minutes Australia documentary.

The family is believed to be the first to have a quadrupedal gait in human history. The discovery has baffled many in the scientific community.

The Daily Star reports that Professor Nicholas Humphrey, an evolutionary psychologist from the London School of Economics, discovered that six of the family's 18 children had the extraordinary trait. One of those six has since died.

"I never expected that even under the most extraordinary scientific fantasy that modern human beings could return to an animal state," he told 60 Minutes Australia.

"The thing which marks us off from the rest of the animal world is the fact that we're the species which walks on two legs and holds out heads high in the air… of course it's language and all other sorts of things too, but it's terribly important to our sense of ourselves as being different from others in the animal kingdom. These people cross that boundary."

According to the documentary, the family could be "the missing link between man and ape," adding that they have "untold significance for every one of us" and "shouldn't exist."

The Turkish scientists who published a paper on the family theorized that some form of "devolution" has happened. They consider it a genetic issue that somehow reverted back 3 million years of evolution, reported.

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Humphreys disagreed, calling the suggestion "deeply insulting" and "scientifically irresponsible."

Scientists have found that those who walk on all fours have a shrunken cerebellum. However, not all people with a shrunken cerebellum have the abnormal trait.

According to scientists at Liverpool University, those walking on all fours had skeletons that were more like apes than humans.

Still, the people do not walk on their knuckles like apes. Instead, they walk on flat hands.

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"I think it's possible that what we are seeing in this family is something that does correspond to a time when we didn't walk like chimpanzees but was an important step between coming down from the trees and becoming fully bipedal," Humphreys told the BBC.

Humphreys added that lack of coaxing to walk on two legs after nine months could have played a role in the abnormal form of walking.

The children later were advised by a physiotherapist who helped them learn to walk on two feet. Humphreys later went to visit again in Turkey and, by then, the children were making significant progress.


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