Scientists from the University of Tübingen have found a fossil in Crete. It turned out to be the oldest footprint.
The very first evidence of the life of human ancestors was found on the island of Crete, they are about 6.05 million years old.
Fossil traces were found near the West Cretan village of Trachilos back in 2017. After that, the researchers studied them using geophysical and micropaleontological methods and found that a footprint similar to a human is the world’s first evidence of the existence of human ancestors.
These footprints are almost 2.5 million years older than those left by the Afar Australopithecus (Lucy) from Laetoli in Tanzania.
Uwe Kirscher, Research Director at the Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Paleoecology at the University of Tübingen.
According to the authors, this is the oldest human leg known today: it was used to walk in an upright position.
The leg had a big toe, and the rest were noticeably different in size and were smaller. Also, the foot was shorter than that of Australopithecus.
The new discovery, the researchers note, will help to understand how the early evolution of human movement took place.