A Discovery News article HERE suggests that humans and animals are hardwired to walk. In the article, researcher Francesco Lacquaniti's article HERE is referenced, declaring that our original thought--that humans learn to walk by creating new neural connections--is not entirely true. Rather, humans are already programmed with the basic information to walk without the need to develop new neural connections.
The article is somewhat vague as to how researchers know that new neural connections aren't made; however, since this tendency seems to occur over species other than humans, some researchers believe that this is enough evidence to satisfy the scientific principle of replicability.
I do agree that replicability is present; yet, I am not entirely convinced that walking is not developed via neural networks. Without the development of new neural pathways, wouldn't this suggest that the process of walking, and perhaps other motor developments, are in a static location in the brain? Isn't the brain more plastic than that? How does this conflict with children walking at somewhat different ages, instead of all at X number of years after their births? Although articles like this seem easy to believe, it is important to rule out rival hypotheses and heuristics.
One thing this article inspires in me is the curiosity of how every complex behavior or thought starts somewhere and consistently uses a basic behavior in order to exhibit complex behaviors. My fascination with the human brain is consistently increasing when I look at the most simple motor development and behavior tasks.
In terms of cross-species similarities vs within-species similarities, this article encouraged me to check out another article HERE about animal suicides and how they "shed light on human behavior."