Recently I saw a BBC documentary on a family from a remote village in turkey where one couple has 18 children and out of which 5 are walking on four legs. These children are 28-34 yr old & have been like this since the birth. Is that story true ? if yes, then what is the explanation behind this in terms of biological evolution ?


closed as off-topic by Remi.b, David, Bryan Krause, mdperry, AliceD Nov 5 '18 at 9:52

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  • $\begingroup$ @Ruchid Dalwadi Hi welcome to Biology SE. Feel free to take a tour, and take your first badge ! :) You will find out there how to ask in your SE. And now about your question. I think you can give us a few refference such a neme of documentary. Last but not least you should do some research on your topic before you post it. Please prevent your question from beeing unanswer. :) Good luck with your biology knowladge seeking :) $\endgroup$ – L.Diago Oct 22 '18 at 9:28
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    $\begingroup$ this would be a better fit for the skeptic stack $\endgroup$ – John Oct 22 '18 at 12:58
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    $\begingroup$ Its fine that you did not realize, I am saying you will have a better chance of getting an answer on the skeptic stack. IS the claim true is outside the biology stack wheelhouse. It would be important to establish if the claim is true before asking the rest of the question. skeptics.stackexchange.com $\endgroup$ – John Oct 22 '18 at 13:26
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    $\begingroup$ peice of advice the first thing they will want is the source of your claim, so finding out which documentary will be helpful. $\endgroup$ – John Oct 22 '18 at 13:35
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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because 1) the source is missing and 2) the question is hardly a fit for Biology.SE and should rather be asked on Skeptics.SE $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Oct 22 '18 at 14:15

It sounds like this might have been the BBC2 documentary "The Family That Walks on All Fours", in which case the Wikipedia page about it (linked) may contain all the answers you need.

In short: yes it's real; this is the Ulas family in rural Turkey. This is thought to be the result of a an inherited recessive genetic mutation resulting in cerebellar ataxia that impairs balance, meaning that they cannot balance well enough to walk confidently on two legs. From the Wikipedia page on the documentary:

Not being able to manage the balance needed for bipedal walking, they perfected in its place their initial bear-crawl into an adult quadruped gait. The family's walking likely has nothing to do with genes involved in the human evolution of upright walk.

(a "bear crawl") is a four-legged walk which uses your hind feet, rather than your knees)

It does not tell us much about evolution, but it does tell us something about how plastic motor development is. However, several of the experts interviewed in the documentary became interested in the case because they wondered if it might in fact offer insights into the genetic basis of bipedalism, so it's not a ridiculous assumption.

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    $\begingroup$ Interested in knowing what motivated the downvoter - don't be shy, I'm not strongly emotionally invested in this one :) $\endgroup$ – arboviral Oct 22 '18 at 13:50

Id say that this is the result of continuous inbreding, which can result in a deletion of the gene that codes for "learning how to walk".

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    $\begingroup$ There is no such gene. $\endgroup$ – kmm Oct 22 '18 at 12:32
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    $\begingroup$ This is pure guess work. Also, it make little sense; why would inbreeding lead to gene deletion anyway?! Finally, I don't think either that such gene exist (to double kmm's comment) $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Oct 22 '18 at 14:18

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