Yet Another Unknown Human Ancestor?

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A Set of Ancient Footprints May Have Belonged to an Unknown Human Ancestor

by Rasha Aridi/Smithsonianmag.com

In the 1970s, a set of 3.66-million-year-old human footprints preserved in volcanic ash turned the paleontology field upside down. They belonged to Australopithacus afarensis—the same species as Lucy, the famous ancient hominin—and provided the first concrete evidence that human ancestors walked on two feet, Maya Wei-Haas reports for National Geographic.

But a new study suggests that A. afarensis may not have been the only bipedal hominin traversing eastern Africa at the time. A. afarensis‘ footprints were found in an area known as Laetoli site G in northern Tanzania. But just a mile away in site A, scientists unearthed another set of ancient prints from the same time. They assumed the tracks belonged to a young bear, since they were so different from those of A. afarensis’, and largely ignored them, Katie Hunt reports for CNN.

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