Science & Technology

Origin Of Humankind? 5.7 Million Year Old Human Footprints Found In Europe

News World India | 1
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| September 6 , 2017 , 09:53 IST

For centuries, people across the world have wondered about the origin of the human species. While the theory of evolution of humans from ape ancestors has become widely accepted, the answer to where on earth humans first appeared is yet to have a definitive answer.

Based on the discovery of fossils of  Australopithecus (an ape ancestor) during the mid 20th century in South and East Africa, scholars have believed that the human lineage originated from Africa. Discovery of 3.7 million-year-old human-like footprints preserved in Laetoli in Tanzania also added support to the belief that humans originated in Africa.  

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However, a recent discovery of 5.7 million-year-old remarkably human-like footprints on the Greek island of Crete by researchers at the Uppsala University in Sweden, gives rise to the theory that human ancestors may have been present in Europe while evolution took place in Africa.

Human feet are considered to be distinctive and different from those of all other land creatures, which helps in identification of footprints. The elements of a human foot which include a long sole, 5 short toes that are without claws and point forward and a big toe (hallux) is a unique combination.

Even apes, which are considered to be closest to humans in terms of evolution, have feet which resemble human hands with a hallux that sticks out to the side like a thumb.

In 4.4 million-year-old footstep fossils discovered from Ethiopia suspected to be of a human ancestor, the foot is ape-like which was believed to have been evolved over the years to become what the human foot is today.

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The discovery of the footprints in Greece contradict the timeline established for the evolution of humans, as the 5.7 million-year-old footprints have remarkable human-like characteristics. The big toe is similar to modern humans and the sole also has a distinct 'ball' which is never found in apes.

"What makes this controversial is the age and location of the prints," Per Ahlberg at Uppsala University in Sweden said to media.

"Whether the human origins research community will accept fossil footprints as conclusive evidence of the presence of hominins in the Miocene of Crete remains to be seen," he said.

John

So those marks on the rock are proof of where humans came from? Trash science for idiots.