The earliest footprints showing evidence of modern human footprint anatomy and gait have been earthed in Kenya.

The 1.5 million-year-old footprints display signs of a pronounced arch and short, aligned toes, in contrast to older footprints.

The size spacing of the Kenyan markings-attributed to Homo erectus –reflect the height, weight, and walking style of modern humans.

The footprints are not the oldest belonging to a member of the human lineage. That title belongs to the 3.7 million-year-old Australopithecus afarensis prints found in Laetoli, Tanzania, in 1978.

Those prints, however, showed comparatively flat feet and a significantly higher angle between the toe and the other toes, representative of a foot still adapted to grasping.

Exactly how that more ape-like foot developed into its modern version has remained unclear.

The fossil record is distinctly lacking in foot and hand bones, according to lead author Matthew Bennett of Bournemouth University, UK


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