When Was Walking Invented? The Answer May Surprise You

When Was Walking Invented
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When you think about it, walking is pretty amazing. It’s how we got from point A (single-celled organisms) to point B (modern humans). But did you know that humans never stopped walking? And when was walking invented?

Actually, researchers are still discovering more about how and why we first began to walk upright like modern people do. We’ll talk about some fascinating details concerning the invention of walking in this post.

The most startling revelation about humans

It’s a little-known fact that humans have always walked. Our ancestors were bipedal for millions of years, and we’ve been walking since our flirtation with uprightness began in Africa some 200,000 years ago. 

It’s an essential part of who we are as humans and what sets us apart from other animals. It seems obvious now, but it wasn’t always so clear to scientists when they first started studying the evolution of human movement patterns. They had assumed that our ancestors’ adaptation to uprightness was a late development in human evolution. 

Development of the human body

The human body plan was developed from fish, and humans have fins and gills just like fish do.

  • The first land-dwelling vertebrate is thought to have been a salamander-like amphibian called Enariadidae, which lived about 420 million years ago during the Ordovician period of Earth’s history.
  • During this time period, there were many species of early reptiles on Earth including dinosaurs like Tyrannosaurus Rex (Tyrannosaurus being Greek for “tyrant lizard king”) who lived during Triassic Periods (250 MYA) through Jurassic Periods (145 MYA). It’s possible that these creatures used walking as an adaptation tool because it allowed them greater mobility compared with swimming through water environments.

We don’t remember when we learned to walk

Humans have always been bipedal. We don’t remember when we learned to walk because we were never not walking.

We don’t remember when was walking invented because it happened so long ago, and it’s hard for us to imagine a time before walking was possible (and even harder for us to imagine a time in which our ancestors didn’t know how). 

First human is probably smart as modern human

It’s a common misconception that walking was invented by humans, but the truth is that we’re not the first species to walk on two legs. 

The first humans were probably just as smart as modern humans, but they didn’t have the same technology. We’re talking about ancient man here. The first ones who lived in Africa, Asia and Europe before Homo sapiens did their thing.

So what happened? 

  • Well, let’s go back to when we started developing language and toolmaking around 70,000 years ago. 
  • This was around when our ancestors became more proficient at hunting large animals like deer with spears or using tools such as knives and axes made from stone.

The history of humans is really brief

The Earth is only about 4.5 billion years old, and we’ve only been here for just under 5 percent of that time. That’s not much time in the history of the universe, but it’s still mind-boggling when you think about how little has happened since we came into existence.

And while humans may be small potatoes compared with other species on this planet or in our solar system and even among all living things on Earth. We are still an incredibly valuable addition to the ecosystem and deserve recognition as such.

Humans are pretty cool, aren’t they?

Humans communicate with each other using words and speech. No other animal can do this. And we’re able to think abstractly about things like mathematics (which is just a fancy word for counting) because our brains contain many more neurons than those of other animals.

Humans evolved from apes

It’s common knowledge that humans evolved from apes. The fact is, we are not apes. Apes are animals. Apes and monkeys are just one group of primates (which includes us). Humans are primates, but they also have some features that distinguish them from other species of primate:

  • We can walk upright on two legs, rather than on all fours like chimpanzees do or gorillas do.
  • We use tools to kill prey and create shelter among other things; these skills were developed at least 1 million years ago.

Bipedalism took millions of years to develop

What you may not know is that this process, called bipedalism, took millions of years to develop. It’s common in humans and other primates (monkeys, apes), but it’s rare in other groups such as bears or elephants.

Bipedalism was more efficient than quadrupedalism because it allowed us to walk upright like we do today and even run if necessary which freed up our arms for activities such as making tools or gathering food from trees.

Research suggest that we didn’t walk on two legs

  • Theories and research suggest that we didn’t walk on two legs in the same way we do today.

Some scholars have suggested that bipedalism developed later in human evolution, as a result of our evolutionary ancestors becoming more proficient at walking upright after they began using their hands for other tasks such as tool use and hunting animals larger than themselves (like large game).

Bipedalism goes far beyond walking upright.

The ability to walk upright allowed us to develop a larger brain and made it possible for us to use our hands for other tasks like making tools and weapons that were not possible before we acquired this skill.

Bipedalism also allows us to run faster than quadrupeds like horses or zebras and climb trees faster than quadrupedal primates.

Bipedalism freed our hands for other tasks

Bipedalism also freed our hands for other tasks. One of the most important is toolmaking, which enables us to create more sophisticated tools and weapons.

Another way in which bipedalism allowed us to expand our capabilities was through communication. The use of language itself as well as various specialized gestures or signals (such as hand gestures) that convey meaning. 


We walked on two feet not because we’re better than other humans or because our bodies are more suited to bipedalism, but simply because we evolved from them. 

In fact, most likely you are descended from an ape-like ancestor who experimented with walking on four legs before deciding that two were better for carrying things around in the forest. 

Emily Smith

Zazz is USA’s fastest-growing full-stack mobile app and software solutions agency that works with Fortune 500 companies, start-ups, and enterprises of all sizes to accelerate sustainable growth with efficiently-built digital products.