The Pattern of Human Evolution: Studies on Bipedalism, Mastication, and Encephalization
Annual Review of Anthropology
Vol. 11: 151-173 (Volume publication date October 1982)
H M McHenry
In lieu of an abstract, the publisher reproduces the first page of the article. (Link)

Letters to My Tutor…

My dearest Simone,

I can see why students love Henry McHenry. He strikes a good balance with the subject matter in that his writing is not too dense, and yet it’s not dumbed down either (well, at least as far as I can tell); and the summary was quite helpful.

During his discussion of bipedalism, McHenry writes that critical evaluation is necessary concerning the most influential ideas in evolution of hominid bipedalism because they are the ones that get into textbooks and influence general theories on human evolution. Seeing that this review was published in 1982, I was curious as to how discussions of this topic in the article compared with discussion in some of my more recent textbooks. McHerny spends a relatively large amount of ink (almost a whole page of just a 14-page review) putting forth the view that Owen Lovejoy’s theory that bipedalism arose as a result of monogamous males provisioning for their home-bound mates and dependent infants would be rejected by most anthropologists, ecologist, or primatologists familiar with mammalian and human mating systems. In a couple textbooks published more than 20 years later, there is a similar coverage and attitude about Lovejoy’s theory in this area… there is the notion that it has to be discussed especially and despite being mostly rejected according to the writers. What keeps such theories alive such that they require special treatment despite being mostly rejected and not seemingly useful? (Are there other parts of Lovejoy’s writing on the subject that are considered more helpful? Is it only anthropologists, ecologists and primatologists who reject Lovejoy, but other disciplines embrace him?)

Wikipedia page on Bipedalism
Henry McHenry’s Wikipedia page
A page at UC Davis with links to published works by McHenry

Yours truly,