Report

Early Hominin Foot Morphology Based on 1.5-Million-Year-Old Footprints from Ileret, Kenya

Science  27 Feb 2009:
Vol. 323, Issue 5918, pp. 1197-1201
DOI: 10.1126/science.1168132

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Via your Institution

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


Abstract

Hominin footprints offer evidence about gait and foot shape, but their scarcity, combined with an inadequate hominin fossil record, hampers research on the evolution of the human gait. Here, we report hominin footprints in two sedimentary layers dated at 1.51 to 1.53 million years ago (Ma) at Ileret, Kenya, providing the oldest evidence of an essentially modern human–like foot anatomy, with a relatively adducted hallux, medial longitudinal arch, and medial weight transfer before push-off. The size of the Ileret footprints is consistent with stature and body mass estimates for Homo ergaster/erectus, and these prints are also morphologically distinct from the 3.75-million-year-old footprints at Laetoli, Tanzania. The Ileret prints show that by 1.5 Ma, hominins had evolved an essentially modern human foot function and style of bipedal locomotion.

View Full Text

Related Content