Have you ever wondered why humans walk on two legs rather than four? In this course, we will explore how science investigates this unusual form of locomotion. We will start our investigation by looking at the mechanics of upright walking in humans and comparing that to bipedal locomotion in large birds, bears, and apes.
We will journey back millions of years into the human fossil record in an effort to understand how and why upright walking evolved. Around our first birthday, each of us learned how to walk, but how does this happen? With bipedalism came costly trade-offs as well-- we’ll examine these aches and pains as byproducts of our evolutionary history.
This course will take an intentionally interdisciplinary approach to studying how and why humans move bipedally. You will be exposed to anthropology, biomechanics, anatomy, evolution and paleontology to explore something deeply human: upright walking.
This course was developed in collaboration with SmithsonianX (National Musuem of Natural History and the National Zoological Park).
MOOCs stand for Massive Open Online Courses. These arefree online courses from universities around the world (eg. StanfordHarvardMIT) offered to anyone with an internet connection.
How do I register?
To register for a course, click on "Go to Class" button on the course page. This will take you to the providers website where you can register for the course.
How do these MOOCs or free online courses work?
MOOCs are designed for an online audience, teaching primarily through short (5-20 min.) pre recorded video lectures, that you watch on weekly schedule when convenient for you. They also have student discussion forums, homework/assignments, and online quizzes or exams.