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Humans have walked the earth more than 1.5 millions years ago, study

afrol News, 27 February - Latest evidence showing morden human like existence dating back over 1.5 million years back has been unearthed by Anthropologists in Kenya.

Ancient fossil footprints in Kenya are said to be the oldest evidence of erect walking species accrding to a study released yesterday.

The footprint sets were discovered in sedimentary rock at Ileret, in Kenya, and according to the researchers, the finding marks one of the most important discoveries in recent years regarding the evolution of human walking.

According to the journal, the impressions came from the Homo ergaster, or early Homo erectus, the first hominid whose longer legs and shorter arms corresponded to the body proportions of the modern Homo sapiens.

The researchers also found a smaller print, believed to have been that of a child, saying the match of the footprints pattern, all with a parallel big toe, could be like today's impression of people walking on a muddy river bank.

"In all specimens, the big toe was parallel to the other toes, unlike apes, whose big toes are separated to help grasping tree branches. The Ileret footprints also show a pronounced arch and short toes that are human-like and are usually associated with the ability to walk on two feet," the study said.

There have been other fossils dating from the same era as the Ileret prints which have been found in Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa, but the latest find has more clarity to modern humans.

In 1978, British archeologist and anthropologist Mary Leakey discovered the oldest footprints in Tanzania that dated back 3.6 million years, but as reports pointed out, those prints were attributed to a less advanced creature, the Australopithecus afarensis, that showed a shallower arch and a more ape-like separated big toe.

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