Friday, 3 August 2007

Ancestral footprints

The importance of the fossil footprints shows that early humans were bipedal as early as four million years ago. The Laetoli footprints were discovered in 1978, in a remote part of Tanzania by Andrew Hill, a paleontologist and professor at Yale University; working with Mary Leakey's research team.

Approximately four million years ago, a volcano erupted blanketing the landscape with volcanic ash. Following precipitation, the ash became like plaster; producing an ideal surface for footprint impressions of the numerous animals.In time the surface turned into a hard cement preserving its captured tell-tale signs .
A member of our early human species, Australopithecus afarensis, provided a record of their passing, the fossil footprints indicate two individuals, walking side by side.

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