Sunday, July 24, 2011

Early Human Ancestors Walked Fully Upright Earlier Than Scientists Thought, Study Shows

Early human ancestors walked fully upright about 2 million years earlier than scientists have long suggested, according to the results of a recent study.

A team of researchers at the University of Liverpool, along with scientists at the University of Manchester and Bournemouth University, applied a new statistical technique often used in functional brain imaging to obtain a three-dimensional average of the famous 11 footprints discovered at Laetoli, Tanzania, discovered by Mary Leakey in 1976. The footprints are interpreted to have been left originally in soft volcanic ash by a group of three individuals of the Australopithecus afarensis species following the eruption of the nearby Sadiman Volcano approximately 3.7 million years ago.

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