June 24, 2021

A family story told through their footsteps

The footprints show the path of a woman and her baby.

The footprints show the path of a woman and her baby.

The longest human fossil footprint track ever discovered has been located in the petrified bed of an ancient lake in White Sands National Park, in New Mexico.

The footprints are believed to have been made by two people: an adult woman and a child under 3 years old. Its length reaches a kilometer and a half in the dry bed of Lake Otero.

According to a statement from the National Park, these footprints tell a story that may seem familiar today: They show a woman walking almost a mile, with the footprints of a small child occasionally appearing next to hers. The tracks widened and slid into the mud with added weight. This suggests that she carried the child, moved him from side to side, and left him as she walked.

They were not alone. They walked among megafauna species that inhabited the area about 13,000 years ago. The fossilized tracks reveal that a giant sloth, approximately 4 meters tall and mammoths almost five meters tall, crossed paths with these people.

While mammoth tracks show no reaction to human footprints, giant sloth tracks indicate that they stood on their hind legs, probably interested in our ancestors, according to the note released by the National Park.


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