Fossil footprints tell story of early man

  • December 15, 2016

In Tanzania, footprints made by early humans who lived millions of years ago have been uncovered close to where similar tracks were found in the 1970s. The impressions were made when some of our distant relatives walked together across wet volcanic ash. Their makers, most likely Australopithecus afarensis, appear to have had a wide range of body sizes. Scientists are of the opinion that this gives clues to how this ancient species of human lived. Australopithecus afarensis is one of the longest-lived and best-known early human species. The newly discovered footprints may have been made by a male walking with smaller females.

The lead researcher Prof Giorgio Manzi, director of the archaeological project in Tanzania said, “This novel evidence, taken as a whole with the previous findings, portrays several early hominins moving as a group through the landscape following a volcanic eruption and subsequent rainfall. But there is more.” The footprints of one of the new individuals are astonishingly larger than anyone else’s in the group. This suggests that he was a large male member of the species.

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