Humans are incredibly fortunate when it comes to butt. We may not have the same volume as an elephant, but in terms of body to butt ratio, we’re doing rather well for ourselves. Of course, buttock volume is determined by a person’s genotype, but a vigorous squatting and lunging routine can help to increase the posterior. However, the Institute of Human Anatomy (IHA) claims that we still have the largest booties in the animal kingdom as a species. But why is that? (It’s a deliberate pun.)
WHY DO HUMAN BUTTS ARE SO LARGE? As IHA co-founder Jonathan Bennion and lab director Justin Cottle illustrate in the video below, human buttocks have a gluteal fold and a gluteal cleft (that’s the bit down the center). The way the muscle is linked to the skeleton is primarily responsible for the ample tissue between the two on the human body.
Bennion walks us through a dissection of the buttocks’ surface anatomy, starting with the epidermis and dermis, which is practically the skin, using a genuine human cadaver (the type you get from corpse farms). The hypodermis is made up of adipose tissue, which has a thickness that is influenced by fat volume, which can be dictated by a person’s lifestyle or heredity. This, however, is not the key to humanity’s generous bums. The gluteus maximus is responsible for this.
The Gladiator-like muscle group connects the spine, hip, and femur to mobilize the hip as the gluteus maximus stretches and contracts. This is why actions like deadlifts, in which the gluteus maximus stretches and contracts to extend the hip before the butt muscle pulls it all back to an upright posture, can help you strengthen your glutes.
The gluteus maximus is continually active as we walk about as bipedal, upright creatures. Unlike cats, who go around on all fours and hence do not use the glutes in the same way, as Bennion illustrates. Because the more a muscle is utilized, the larger it becomes, we gained the skeletal position required to claim the big butt label by developing to be upright animals.
The honor was well shown in a meme about Perseus and his ample cheeks (although modified to be more bootylicious than the original). And humanity has repeatedly demonstrated that a generous gluetus maximus has numerous purposes. So, we’ve answered one intriguing topic concerning the human derriere, but why do humans have butt hair?