Chimpanzees possess no buns,
contrasting thus with homo habilis,
the only primate who has ones
an arse-man might describe as fabulous.
Long distance running after foxes
who dazzle us by being beauteous
depends on what lies on the coccyx,
the major muscle known as gluteus.
With the muscles on her bum,
a bumptious female can make of a male
a monkey, even if she’s dumb,
and he’s a primate lacking any tail.
In the NYT on November 18, 2004 John Noble Wilford discusses a paper by two scientists, Dr. Dennis M. Bramble of the University of Utah and Dr. Daniel E. Lieberman of Harvard, who report in the journal Nature that their analysis of the fossil record found striking anatomical evidence for the capability of prolonged running in the Homo genus, beginning about two million years ago." Today, endurance running is primarily a form of exercise and recreation, but its roots may be as ancient as the origin of the human genus," the scientists conclude in the article:
By two million years ago, Dr. Bramble and Dr. Lieberman noted, early species of the Homo family, notably Homo erectus, had long, slender legs for greater strides. They had shorter arms and a narrower rib cage and pelvis. Their skulls included features to help prevent overheating. A ligament attached to the base of the skull kept their heads steady as they ran.
Although tissues do not fossilize, traces of muscle and tendon attachment points on bones of early species revealed an extensive network of springy tendons along the back of the legs and feet, including a well-developed Achilles tendon that anchored calf muscles to the heel bone. Tendons served to store and release elastic energy during running but were not needed for ordinary walking.
And there was the gluteus maximus, the muscle of the buttocks. Earlier human ancestors, like chimpanzees today, had pelvises that could support only a modest gluteus maximus, nothing like the strong buttocks of Homo. Have you ever looked at an ape?" Dr. Bramble said. "They have no buns." r. Lieberman, a paleontologist, explained: "Your gluteus maximus stabilizes your trunk as you lean forward in a run. A run is like a controlled fall, and the buttocks help to control it."
I added the last quatrain on 1/28/10.