10-Inches-Long Ancient Human Footprint Found In Volcanic Ash

Early hominids were mostly fairly small when compared to today's humans. Lucy, one of the most famous early hominids, was barely three feet tall. 10-inches long ancient human footprint found in volcanic ash suggest that at least some early human ancestor might have been tall.

The early hominid was around five feet and five inches, based on the footprints it left. The footprints have been embedded on volcanic ash that hardened into rock. The footprints have been found in Tanzania in Africa.

Researchers also speculate that the footprints had been made by a male who weighed around 100 pounds. For an early hominid, he was fairly tall. The footprints are said to have been left by Australopithecus afarensis, the same species that Lucy belongs. This makes the hominid that left the footprints to be tall for its kind.

The footprints are from the same site where an earlier set of footprints has been found. The site is Laetoli, which has become famous back in the 1970s when a set of footprints that belong to the same species has been found, according to ABC News. The earlier set of footprints were much smaller than the ones found recently.

The hominid who made the footprints has been given the name of S1. The hominid is taller than the others who were with him, as the tracks that were left suggest. He was at least 20 centimeters taller than the others. The hominid is taller than the tallest A. afarensis so far found in Ethiopia by seven centimeters. Lucy, by contrast, is short, averaging to be only 107 centimeters tall.

The social structure of A. afarensis based on the footprints was more like that of gorillas than chimpanzees or humans, as the BBC reports. The group has one male and several females, much like how gorilla groups are. A. afarensis walked upright like modern humans, though researchers still don't know how they actually walked.

The 10-inches long ancient human footprint found in volcanic ash shows that at least some early human ancestor might have been tall. It is still not certain though if it did walk much. New research suggests that Lucy might have spent more time in the trees than walking.

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