LS Laetoli Footprints

Hettinger (
Thu, 20 Aug 1998 00:10:16 +0100

Hi, everyone!

Just a quick note: This month's Scientific American (September) has an
article about a set of fossilized footprints found by Mary D. Leakey's
team in Tanzania. They are dated at between 3.4 and 3.8 million years
old. According to the article, the widely-accepted interpretation is
that "the trackway was made by three hominids. Many of the larger
tracks at the site have features indicating that they may be double
footprints. The evidence suggests that a relatively large
hominid--about five feet tall, based on the size of its
footprints--walked first, and a hominid four and a half feet tall
deliberately stepped in the leader's footsteps, perhaps to make it
easier to cross the slick, ash-covered ground. A smaller hominid
--about four feet tall--apparently made the parallel trail of
well-defined footprints. The trackway indicates that this hominid
adjusted its stride to keep up with one or both of the other hominids."

I haven't found any more information on this, yet, but it's the double
footprints that are tantalizing--one following exactly in the steps of
the other, and no real explanation for it. Pre-intellectual social

If anyone hears of info on this, I'd be interested in sources.


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