The prehistoric footprints of “Mystery” have been rediscovered for re-examination. Were they left by bears or human ancestors?

Date:

The prehistoric footprints that have confused scientists since the 1970s are being reviewed. Were they left by extinct animals or by human ancestors?

Evidence was ambiguous when the famous paleontologist Mary Leakey first discovered the footprints of Tanzania 40 years ago.

Leaky instead turned his attention to the footprints of other fossils that may be more clearly associated with early humans. These footprints, found in a place called Laetoli G, are the first clear evidence that early humans are walking upright.

Footprint.jpg
Above: A model of the site generated using photogrammetry, showing the footprints of five Hominini. Bottom: Corresponding contour map of the site generated from a 3D surface scan using the scale bar.

Nature


Decades later, a new team re-excavated the misleading footprints found on a site called Laetoli A, making photos and 3D scans available for other researchers to continue their discussions.

The research is Published in the journal Nature on Wednesday..

“These footprints have been in the mystery category for 40 years,” said Rick Potts, who heads the Smithsonian Castle’s Human Origins project.

“Re-digging them up and studying them again is a really exciting idea,” added Potts, who was not involved in the study.

Scientists who have been confused for a long time have said that these tracks (a wide footprint with an enlarged fifth toe, estimated to be about 3.7 million years old) are exactly what scientists have identified elsewhere. It doesn’t match.

“They didn’t have the proper weight and foot movements to easily identify as humans, so other explanations were sought,” said co-author and Dartmouth paleoanthropologist Jeremy DeSilva.

Fossil footprints
This photo shows Anjari Prabat and Jeremy De Silva, associate professors of anthropology at Dartmouth College, excavating the footprints of Site A in Laetoli, Tanzania.

Shirley Rubin / AP


He and other researchers returned to the scene in 2019 and used Leaky’s original map to find a mysterious print preserved in a layer of chilled and solidified ash.

Ohio University co-author Ellison McNut studied the mechanics of the black bear pup’s paw at the Wildlife Rescue Center in New Hampshire to see if a small bear walking on its hind legs could leave similar footprints. ..

She took a tray of applesauce and invited the Cubs to walk towards her. Each footstep was recorded on a mud track for analysis.

She said that bears walking upright, like humans, first put their weight on the heels of their feet. “But the foot ratios are not the same.” She concluded that the fossil footprints were not left by the bear.

Due to other factors such as footprint spacing, the authors of the study concluded that footprints were left by previously unknown species of very early human ancestors.

Not everyone is convinced.

Smithsonian Potts said it was a toss-up between ancient bears and ancient humans, adding that ancient bears may have walked differently than modern black bears.

William Harcourt-Smith, a paleoanthropologist at the American Museum of Natural History who wasn’t involved in the study, said he was convinced that it wasn’t a bear, but he wasn’t convinced that it was an early human. rice field.

“These prints may still belong to some form of non-human ape,” he said.

If two different species were walking upright in the landscape at the same time, it suggests different simultaneous experiments in bipedalism-complicates the traditional view of human evolution as strictly linear.

“It’s really cool to think about it,” said Harcourt Smith.

The prehistoric footprints of “Mystery” have been rediscovered for re-examination. Were they left by bears or human ancestors?

Source link The prehistoric footprints of “Mystery” have been rediscovered for re-examination. Were they left by bears or human ancestors?

The post The prehistoric footprints of “Mystery” have been rediscovered for re-examination. Were they left by bears or human ancestors? appeared first on Eminetra.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:

Popular

More like this
Related

‘Epidemic of Hate’ – Kamala Harris Slams Americans at Buffalo Shooting Victim Funeral (VIDEO)

Kamala Harris on Saturday joined Al Sharpton and other...

BowflexSelectTech552 Adjustable Dumbbell Review

Buy the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells to say...

Tula’s Deep Wrinkle Repair Serum is now 20% off — buy now!

Us Weekly has an affiliate partnership and may be...

LEO: Why investors need to be wary of hype behind Bitfinex’s token

Bitfinex’s LEO token has become the talk of the...