Title
Human-like external function of the foot, and fully upright gait, confirmed in the 3.66 million year old Laetoli hominin footprints by topographic statistics, experimental footprint-formation and computer simulation Human-like external function of the foot, and fully upright gait, confirmed in the 3.66 million year old Laetoli hominin footprints by topographic statistics, experimental footprint-formation and computer simulation
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Publication type
article
Publication
London ,
Subject
Engineering sciences. Technology
Source (journal)
Journal of the Royal Society interface: physical and life sciences. - London
Volume/pages
9(2012) :69 , p. 707-719
ISSN
1742-5689
ISI
000300726700011
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
It is commonly held that the major functional features of the human foot (e. g. a functional longitudinal medial arch, lateral to medial force transfer and hallucal (big-toe) push-off) appear only in the last 2 Myr, but functional interpretations of footbones and footprints of early human ancestors (hominins) prior to 2 million years ago (Mya) remain contradictory. Pixel-wise topographical statistical analysis of Laetoli footprint morphology, compared with results from experimental studies of footprint formation; foot-pressure measurements in bipedalism of humans and non-human great apes; and computer simulation techniques, indicate that most of these functional features were already present, albeit less strongly expressed than in ourselves, in the maker of the Laetoli G-1 footprint trail, 3.66 Mya. This finding provides strong support to those previous studies which have interpreted the G-1 prints as generally modern in aspect.
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