Ever wondered why humans are so good at activities such as running and gymnastics when, let's face it, they don't play much of a practical role in our day-to-day lives anymore? As the latest episode of How Did We Get Here by the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia explains, we've actually been evolutionarily primed to be incredible athletes.
As evolutionary biologist Darren Curnoe explains in the episode above, all those unbelievably flexible gymnasts you see competing in the Olympics get their abilities from our ape ancestors that lived around 25 million years ago.
Like us, they had no tails, so they could swing between trees without anything getting in the way. They also had rotating shoulder joints so they could swing more freely - the same shoulder joints that let us lift our arms sideways rather than just forwards and backwards, like cats and dogs.
So what about running? That came later, when our ancestors moved to the savannahs of Africa around 7 million years ago. Instead of living on what they could forage from trees and plants, these apes starting hunting, and evolved the ability to outrun their prey.
And even though we may not be faster than animals such as gazelles and zebras, our ancestors actually had the stamina to chase them until they got tired, Curnoe reveals.
Watch the video above to find out more about where out athletic skills came from, and don't forget to subscribe to see new How Did We Get Here episodes as they go live. And next time you feel like you don't have a sporting bone in your body, don't forget that you're the legacy of a long line of athletic ancestors.
Love science? Find out more about the research happening at UNSW Science.