New evidence suggests humans have been walking for over 2000 decades!

New evidence suggests humans have been walking for over 2000 decades!

Fossilized footprints have been discovered in New Mexico suggest that early humans were walking across North America around 23,000 years ago, as per researchers.

In 2009, the first footprints were found in a dry lake bed in White Sands National Park. Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey recently analyzed seeds stuck in the footprints to determine their approximate age, ranging from around 22,800 and 21,130 years ago.

Several scientists believe ancient migration came by way of a now-submerged land bridge that connected Asia to Alaska. Based on various evidence — including stone tools, fossil bones, and genetic analysis — other researchers have offered a range of possible dates for human arrival in the Americas, from 13,000 to 26,000 years ago or more.

The current study provides a more solid baseline for when humans definitely were in North America, although they may have arrived even earlier, as per the authors. Fossil footprints are more irrefutable and direct evidence than “cultural artifacts, modified bones, or other more conventional fossils,” they wrote in the journal Science, that published the study.

“What we present here is evidence of a firm time and location,” they said.

Based on the size of the footprints, researchers believe that at least some were made by children and teenagers who lived during the last ice age.

David Bustos, the park’s resource program manager, spotted the first footprints in ancient wetlands in 2009. He and others found more in the park over the years.

“We knew they were old, but we had no way to date the prints before we discovered some with (seeds) on top,” Bustos said.

Made of fine silt and clay, the footprints are fragile, so the researchers had to work quickly to gather samples, he added.

“The only way we can save them is to record them — to take a lot of photos and make 3D models,” he said.

Earlier excavations in White Sands National Park have uncovered fossilized tracks left by a saber-toothed cat, dire wolf, Columbian mammoth, and other ice age animals.

Source: Agencies

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