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

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

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  1. Fig. 1.

    Location, stratigraphy, and footprint surfaces at Ileret (FwJj14E).

  2. Fig. 2.

    Tessellated swath of optical laser scans of the main footprint trail on the upper footprint surface at FwJj14E. Color is rendered with 5-mm isopleths.

  3. Fig. 3.

    Optical laser scan images color-rendered with 5-mm isopleths for footprints at both FwJj14E and GaJi10. (A) Isolated left foot (FUI1) on the upper footprint surface at FwJj14E. (B) Photograph of FUI8 on the upper footprint surface at FwJj14E, showing good definition of the toe pads; the second toe is partially obscured by the third toe. (C) Second trail on the upper footprint surface at FwJj14E, showing two left feet. (D) Third trail on the upper footprint surface at FwJj14E, showing a right and a left foot. (E) Print R3 from GaJi10 (22), re-excavated and scanned as part of this investigation. (F) Partial print (FUT1-2) on the upper footprint surface at FwJj14E; the heel area has been removed by a later bovid print. (G) Print FLI1 on the lower footprint surface at FwJj14E, rendered with 5-mm alternating black and white isopleths. (H) Inverted image of the toe area of print FUT1-1 with alternating 5-mm black and white isopleths. Note the locations of the pads of the small toes and the presence of a well-defined ball beneath the hallucial metatarsophalangeal joint. The first, third, and fifth toes are marked D1, D3, and D5, respectively.

  4. Fig. 4.

    (A) Angle of hallux abduction (14). The colored boxes show the 25th, 75th, and median; the outer lines mark the maximum and minimum values. (B) Contour maps (interval, 2 mm) for selected prints. Holocene H. sapiens prints are from the Sefton Coast in England (14). (C) Scatter plot of instep-to-ball width, showing the broader instep width of the Laetoli prints, see (A) for symbol key. (D) Thin plate splines and vector maps comparing the landmark anatomy for mean print forms. The vectors represent the direction of landmark movement between the two print populations. The labeled landmarks (H, I, Idth, etc.) are defined in fig. S18.