Fossilised hominid footprints from Laetoli

Fossilised hominid footprints from Laetoli

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Credit: SINCLAIR STAMMERS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Laetoli hominid footprints. Reverse cast of four hominid footprints found by Mary Leakey's 1978 expedition to Laetoli, Tanzania. They are part of a 70 metre long trail of footprints fossilized in volcanic ash. Dated 3.6 million years BP., they show that by this date hominids had acquired the upright, bipedal, free-striding gait of modern man. A well developed arch to the foot is seen, and no divergence of the big toe. Two individuals made these footprints: a larger individual (at right) and a smaller one, with possibly a third set (perhaps a child's) walking in the footsteps of the larger individual. These footprints probably belong to Australopithecus afarensis.

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Keywords: a. afarensis, anthropology, australopithecus afarensis, footprint, fossil man, hominid, hominids, hominin, laetoli, laetoli footprint, palaeoanthropology, palaeontology, paleoanthropology, paleontology

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