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Laetoli footprints show signs of unusual gait.

Hominids that left footprints in volcanic ash at Laetoli, Tanzania, 3.6 million years ago walked differently than people today do, Kevin Hatala, an anthropologist at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., reported on April 11. His conclusion challenges a recent study suggesting that Laetoli folk took humanlike strides (SN Online: 3/22/10). Hatala compared measures of the depth and shape of Laetoli prints with similar measures of footprints made in moist soil by men from a Tanzanian community of herders and farmers who rarely wear shoes. Ancient Laetoli individuals flexed their big toes more when pushing off and extended their hips less than the African men did, Hatala said.

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Title Annotation:MEETING NOTES
Author:Bower, Bruce
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:6TANZ
Date:May 31, 2014
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