Photo: Why Pregnant Women Don't Tip Over



A pregnant australopithecine, an early human ancestor, displays the leaned-back posture adopted by human women to help them support the load of their developing babies, as seen in an artist's conception.

A new study shows that three wedge-shaped vertebrae in women's lower backs evolved to allow pregnant females to take this posture without damaging their spines.

Australopithecine illustration courtesy John Gurche; human-chimp spine comparison © Nature


NEWS FEEDS    After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed. After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed.

Get our news delivered directly to your desktop—free.
How to Use XML or RSS

ADVERTISEMENT

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC'S PHOTO OF THE DAY

50 Drives of a Lifetime

Listen to your favorite National Geographic news daily, anytime, anywhere from your mobile phone. No wires or syncing. Download Stitcher free today.