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Laetoli early human footprints

Laetoli early human footprints

E437/0021

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Credit

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

Caption

Trail of hominid footprints fossilized in volcanic ash. This 70 metre trail was found by Mary Leakey's expedition at Laetoli, Tanzania in 1978. It dates from 3.6 million years & shows that hominids had acquired the upright, bipedal, free- striding gait of modern man by this date. The trail probably belongs to Australopithecus afarensis & dates from 3.7 to 3.0 million years ago. The footprints show a well developed arch to the foot & 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. The prints to the far right belong to an hipparion, an extinct three-toed horse.

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