A new discovery of footprints that is believed to have belonged to a group of early humans that roamed Africa more than 3.6 million years has recently been revealed in Laetoli, Tanzania. Researchers believe that the said footprints were made when five of our ancient ancestors known as Australopithecus afarensis, have walked across wet volcanic ash, which has solidified and made a mark over the period of time.
Can Footprints Tell Something About Sex Lives?
According to study findings revealed by Daily Mail, researchers are allegedly convinced that the footprints may have suggested that members of Australopithecus afarensis may have had a gorilla-like social arrangement of one dominant male mating with several females. The researchers, led by Sapienza University in Rome finds that they belong to five members of Australopithecus afarensis, the prehuman species best known for the fossil skeleton, which was known for its popular nickname 'Lucy.'
As per study lead author Professor Giorgio Manzi, due to the fact that the footprints were surprisingly larger than anyone else is in the group, it was believed that he was indeed a large member of the specie. Furthermore, it was found that the findings have been different as compared to the past studies suggesting that Australopithecus afarensis males only had one sexual partner.
Meanwhile, National Geographic reports that it was the Tanzanian archaeologists Fidelis Masao and Elgidius Ichumbaki, both of the University of Dar es Salaam, who found the new footprints while they were on the process of evaluating the potential impacts of building a museum on the Laetoli site.
On the other hand, despite the many versions of interpretations of other researchers, Marco Cherin, a paleoanthropologist at Italy's University of Perugia and a study co-author of the study, together with Professor Manzi, was found to have stood behind their interpretation. Currently, the two are already said to be on the move in making their return trips to Laetoli to look for more prints.