Hidemi Ishida: 40 Years of Footprints in Japanese Primatology and Paleoanthropology -- Hidemi Ishida: 40 Years of Footprints in Japanese Primatology and Paleoanthropology -- Fossil Hominoids and Paleoenvironments -- Seven Decades of East African Miocene Anthropoid Studies -- Evolution of the Vertebral Column in Miocene Hominoids and Plio-Pleistocene Hominids -- Terrestriality in a Middle Miocene Context: Victoriapithecus from Maboko, Kenya -- Late Cenozoic Mammalian Biostratigraphy And Faunal Change -- The Ages and Geological Backgrounds of Miocene Hominoids Nacholapithecus, Samburupithecus, and Orrorin from Kenya -- Functional Morphology -- Patterns of Vertical Climbing in Primates -- Functional Morphology of the Midcarpal Joint in Knuckle-Walkers and Terrestrial Quadrupeds -- Morphological Adaptation of Rat Femora to Different Mechanical Environments -- A Hallmark of Humankind: The Gluteus Maximus Muscle -- Primates Trained for Bipedal Locomotion as a Model for Studying the Evolution of Bipedal Locomotion -- Locomotor Energetics in Nonhuman Primates -- Computer Simulation of Bipedal Locomotion -- Theoretical Approaches -- Paleoenvironments, Paleoecology, Adaptations, and the Origins of Bipedalism in Hominidae -- Arboreal Origin of Bipedalism -- Neontological Perspectives on East African Middle and Late Miocene Anthropoidea -- The Prehominid Locomotion Reflected: Energetics, Muscles, and Generalized Bipeds -- Evolution of the Social Structure of Hominoids -- Are Human Beings Apes, or are Apes People too? -- Current Thoughts on Terrestrialization in African Apes and the Origin of Human Bipedalism. Human Origins and Environmental Backgrounds is a benchmark compendium of research that presents itself at a major paradigm shift in paleoanthropology. The editors offer a variety of theoretical approaches to puzzles on the place of the Hominidae, particularly Homo sapiens, among the Primates, including our unique bipedal positional behavior and social structure and the selective factors that might have been involved in our evolution in the broad context of Miocene and later environments. The contributors represent several generations of pioneering laboratory and field researchers from Japan, France and the United States, who have worked together over the past 40 years and who have trained future leaders in evolutionary anthropology and experimental primatology. This volume, compiled by the leading experts in the field, explores the interface between hominid origins and palaeoenvironments.