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Single adult fossilized hominid footprint

Single adult fossilized hominid footprint

E437/0018

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Credit

JOHN READER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN READER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Detail of a single adult footprint from the trail of fossilized hominid footprints discovered in volcanic ash. The 70 metre trail was found by Mary Leakey's expedition at Laetoli, Tanzania in 1978. It dates from 3.6 million years and shows that hominids had acquired the upright, bipedal, free striding gait of modern man by this date. The trail probably belongs to Australopithecus afarensis and dates from 3.7 to 3.0 million years ago. The footprints show a well developed arch to the foot and no divergence of the big toe. They are of two adults with possibly a third set belonging to a child who walked in the footsteps of one of the adults.

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