||The obliquity of the femoral diaphysis accounts for the valgus position of the human knee joint and reduces bending moments in the frontal plane, A high angle of obliquity is considered a hallmark of hominid bipedality, but its functional importance has rarely been identified correctly. A biostatic investigation of the knee joint in various realistic positions unveils resultant joint forces which do not deviate greatly from the long axis of the femoral shaft. This is due to the length of the femur and to the shortness of the human foot, The flat epiphyseal suture is more or less perpendicular to these joint forces, and the equal size of the femoral condyles reflects the even distribution of forces between them. In great apes the resultant forces acting in the knee joint vary considerably in dependence on the degree of flexion and rotation of the knee joint. The resultant joint force may be in line with the femur shaft or diverge. The epiphyseal surfaces offer facets to all joint forces found in the course of the study. Due to the pronounced varus position of the knee joint, the joint itself and the adjacent part of the femur are under medially concave bending moments, which lead to higher compressive forces at the medial than at the lateral condyle. The enlarged medial condyle allows the distribution of medially displaced joint forces over a relatively large area, and the elliptic cross-section yields high bending resistance in the frontal plane. A human-like angle of obliquity is present in the early australopithecines, the values being mostly within the range of variation of children. The valgus position of the australopithecine knee joint is considered to be a functional, and epigenetic consequence of habitual bipedality. It is particularly pronounced because of the short length of the femur and the great bitrochanteric width.