jueves, 25 de febrero de 2016

Laetoli’s lost tracks: 3D generated mean shape and missing footprints

Figure 1

The Laetoli site (Tanzania) contains the oldest known hominin footprints, and their interpretation remains open to debate, despite over 35 years of research. The two hominin trackways present are parallel to one another, one of which is a composite formed by at least two individuals walking in single file. Most researchers have focused on the single, clearly discernible G1 trackway while the G2/3 trackway has been largely dismissed due to its composite nature. Here we report the use of a new technique that allows us to decouple the G2 and G3 tracks for the first time. In so doing we are able to quantify the mean footprint topology of the G3 trackway and render it useable for subsequent data analyses. By restoring the effectively ‘lost’ G3 track, we have doubled the available data on some of the rarest traces directly associated with our Pliocene ancestors. [...] Scientific Reports