By Natural Philosopher Mike Prestwood
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Timeline Story

Oldest Modern Human-like Footprints

Oldest Modern Human-like Footprints

When: 1.52 Million BCE
Note: 1.53 to 1.51 Million BCE
From Year 0 (BCE/CE): -1520000
Post Date: 07/09/2021
60,800 Generations Ago

Species: Likely Homo erectus, our direct ancestor. The footprints found in Ileret, Kenya represent the oldest undisputed evidence of hominins walking upright in an efficient manner characteristic of modern humans. Our style of upright walking, which Homo erectus appears to have shared, is energy-efficient and adapted for long distances. It involves a long stride with a spring-like mechanism in the arch of the foot. These particular footprints demonstrate a well-developed arch and a long stride, culminating in a propulsive toe-off similar to us.

By this period, Homo erectus set a precedent for the locomotion seen in future hominin species, including Homo heidelbergensis, Neanderthals, Denisovans, and even the shorter Homo floresiensis.

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