Ancient footprints yield oldest signs of upright gait | Science News



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Ancient footprints yield oldest signs of upright gait

Human ancestors may have been walking with an efficient, extended-leg technique by 3.6 million years ago

12:47pm, March 22, 2010

Despite a penchant for hanging out in trees, human ancestors living 3.6 million years ago in what’s now Tanzania extended their legs to stride much like people today do, a new study finds. If so, walking may have evolved in leaps and bounds, rather than gradually, among ancient hominids.

The discovery comes from the famed trackway site in Laetoli, Tanzania, where more than 30 years ago researchers discovered footprint trails from two, and possibly three, human ancestors who had walked across a wet field of volcanic ash. The new analysis shows that the Laetoli hominids made equally

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