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Could Walking Like a Gorilla Increase Strength?

  1. Nov 21, 2016 #1
    I was just thinking while watching the Zookeeper movie. If a child is born and we teach it how to move on it's legs and knuckles instead of just it's legs would it end up being a great deal stronger than people it's age? I think the most weight ever lifted by man was 450 KG, and an average gorilla male can life up to 2000 KG. Would this also have any negative impacts on the spine etc.?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 21, 2016 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Gorillas walk the way they do because of their body proportions. Look at how much muscle mass they have compared to their height. That's where their strength comes from. A human trying to walk that way will not gain strength by virtue of the position (or as close as we can come to it), IMO.

  4. Nov 21, 2016 #3
    Yeah, I guess even if we try a large amount of weight will still be put on legs, maybe if somebody is born with shorter legs we could try this...
  5. Nov 21, 2016 #4


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    The comparative differences in strength between humans and other hominids doesn't have anything to do with our gait. Multiple studies have observed that chimps, bonobos and gorillas have naturally superior muscles to us though the exact mechanism is still not entirely understood. There are some theories that humans evolved for more fine muscle control over raw strength, these cite observable differences in our nervous system and complement of muscles (I.e. More given over to fine control). You can read more from these references which themselves contain references to other studies:


    Whilst there are some theories that the strength differences come from daily life (I.e more active lives of primates versus humans) that's not a very popular theory as it doesn't explain how other primates have been observed to out perform top athletes. Thus the difference is much more likely thought to be genetic, so even if you did raise a short legged human to walk like a gorilla (leaving aside for the moment how incredibly unethical that would be and would still be statistically meaningless given its only n=1) they would not be as strong as other primates.
  6. Nov 21, 2016 #5


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