Sloth skin and mammal fossil footprints, illustration

Sloth skin and mammal fossil footprints, illustration

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Credit: MICHAEL LONG/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Sloth skin and mammal fossil footprints, illustration. At left is a frozen and mummified ground sloth skin from a cave in Patagonia, South America. Ground sloths are now extinct, but frozen skins from around 10,000 years ago, found in Patagonia, often look fresh enough to be more recent. At right are footprints of a giraffe and a small antelope from Laetoli, Tanzania, preserved as trace fossils in an ash fall. The Laetoli footprints trackway includes hominin footprints as well as those of the animals of the time, and dates to 3.7 million years ago.

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