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Prehistoric footprints unearthed in Tanzania


Posted on Wednesday, 14 December, 2016 | Comment icon 7 comments

Australopithecus afarensis walked the Earth 3 million years ago. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Wikimedia
Several sets of footprints left by an ancient human ancestor have been found at the site of a new museum.
Preserved within a layer of volcanic ash that was dampened by the rain, the footprints, which date back over 3.6 million years, were left by a group of our ancestors as they walked side-by-side.

The discovery was made following excavation work at a site in Tanzania where an assessment was being carried out to determine the impact of building a new museum.

Palaeontologists believe that the prints were left by a male, three females and a child who all belonged to a species known as Australopithecus afarensis.

This is the same species as Lucy, the famed hominid discovered in the Hadar area of Ethiopia.

"When we reached the footprint layer and started to clean it with a soft brush and saw the footprints for the first time, it was really one of the most exciting times of my life," said paleontologist Marco Cherin from the University of Perugia in Italy.

"These footprints enrich our knowledge about the most ancient hominin footprints in the world. But they tell us something about the makers too, in this case that we think there were significant differences between the males and females. This is the most striking thing."

Source: The Guardian | Comments (7)

Tags: Africa, Human

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by third_eye on 14 December, 2016, 13:37
If there's anybody on this whole planet that can tell us more from studying these tracks it would have to be these folks ... ~ wiki link
Comment icon #2 Posted by paperdyer on 14 December, 2016, 18:01
Just look at all the different dialects in the UK!  Probably not classified as significant differences unless your an American trying to understand what's being said.  I still have a hard time understanding my buddy at work.  He's from the Leeds area.  I've known him for around ten years ad still have to get him to repeat stuff, especially when we're drinking a pint or 12.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Parsec on 14 December, 2016, 19:24
This is serendipitous!    By the way, does it mean the museum would impact too much?  That would be ironic. 
Comment icon #4 Posted by Thorvir Hrothgaard on 14 December, 2016, 20:01
Comment icon #5 Posted by jarjarbinks on 14 December, 2016, 23:26
Remind me of a guy in school
Comment icon #6 Posted by Eldorado on 27 December, 2016, 22:16
Poor guy must have had permanent earache.
Comment icon #7 Posted by oldrover on 28 December, 2016, 11:48
No, it's not just you. I was confronted once by a man from Newcastle who was upset over something I'done/not done. In about thirty seconds of haranguing I only got the word 'ladder' and '****'.  Also, there are four different indigenous languages spoken here too. 


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