Early Man Walked Upright 2 Million Years Earlier Than We Thought, Says New Analysis

Thursday, July 21, 2011 - 11:31 in Paleontology & Archaeology

Australopithecus afarensis Walks Again Through a new kind of statistical analysis enabling 3-D imagery of ancient footsteps, researchers have determined that early man could have been walking upright 2 million years earlier than previously thought. Courtesy of University of Manchester A lot of the debate about when modern humans became modern humans has to do with the head--when our brains evolved into the functional equivalent of that of modern mankind. But while that particular argument continues, a team of UK researchers using a new kind of statistical technique have analyzed ancient footprints at a site in Tanzania and found that if our feet are allowed to tell the tale, our early ancestors were becoming human-like as much as two million years earlier than we previously thought. The study relies on eleven well-preserved footprints at the Laetoli site in Tanaznia that the researchers subjected to a new statistical technique derived from methods used...

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