Footprint found in Chile is 'oldest' in Americas: scientists

Footprint found in Chile is 'oldest' in Americas: scientists
A) Photography of the original sedimentary structure attributed to a human footprint that was excavated at the Pilauco site. A sediment lump is apparently embedded within the trackbed (star). Scale bar 5 cm. B) Three-dimensional model in dorsal view with a virtual 45° tilt toward the south to facilitate the observation of profile lines 1–2, 3–4 and 5–6 drawn on the 3D model surface (123Catch from Autodesk and trial version of Rhino4, McNeel &Associates). C) Profile lines: [1–2] crossing from the “heel”, “medial longitudinal arch” and “hallux”; [3–4] passing by the midline. Notice that the sediment lump is 2.1 cm high from the footprint base; and [5–6] line passing through the “heel”, “lateral longitudinal arch” and “lateral digits”. Credit: PLOS ONE (2019). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0213572

Scientists in Chile say they have found a footprint dating from at least 15,600 years ago, making it the earliest such sign of man's presence in the Americas.

The footprint was found at the Pilauco excavation in the city of Osorno (820 kilometers, or 500 miles, south of Santiago), where scientists have been digging since 2007.

Archeologists from the Austral University of Chile said the footprint was first spotted in 2011 next to a house. It took years for paleontologist Karen Moreno and geologist Mario Pino to reliably confirm that the print was human.

"There are other human in the Americas," Pino told the Osorno newspaper El Austral, "but none has been dated as far back."

He said scientists were able to do so by applying radiocarbon dating techniques to organic plant material where the print was found.

Pino said the footprint appears to be that of a barefoot man weighing about 70 kilograms (155 pounds) and of the species Hominipes modernus, a relative of Homo sapiens.

The area in Chile has proven rich in fossils, including evidence of an ancestor of today's elephants and American horses, as well as of more recent human presence.

An earlier footprint found at a site south of Osorno was found to be about 1,000 years more recent.

The newer findings were published in the latest edition of the peer-reviewed scientific journal PLOS One.

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More information: Karen Moreno et al. A late Pleistocene human footprint from the Pilauco archaeological site, northern Patagonia, Chile, PLOS ONE (2019). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0213572
Journal information: PLoS ONE

© 2019 AFP

Citation: Footprint found in Chile is 'oldest' in Americas: scientists (2019, April 28) retrieved 14 October 2019 from
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Apr 28, 2019
Hasta la vista, Clovis dude. Murderer!

Apr 28, 2019
The author of this article is clearly unaware that the pseudotaxon "Hominipes Modernus" is the result of the old custom of giving taxonomic names to footprints because attributing a footprint to a known taxon was problematic. This is why one sees dinosaur footprints attributed to "Anchisauropus", "Brontopodus", "Grallator" "Eubrontes", and so on.

In this case, this is pointless and ridiculous, since there is no known taxon of human other than Homo sapiens sapiens younger than 30,000 years. Therefore, the footprint, if it is one, is of Homo sapiens sapiens.

"Hominipes Modernus" was not a "relative" of H. s. sapiens; it simply means "modern hominin foot", and refers to the print.

Apr 28, 2019
The press release is a bit confused. The species name is of an icnospecies, an ichnite fossil footprint, associated with Homo sapiens. ADDED @ POSTING: Ninja'ed by epistoRick.

The dating is also worth a mention, since the dates are from the underlying strata with a 17.3 ka estimate and carbon dating nearby seeds and woods to ~ 13 ka; the 15.6 ka is a median of these. Now, the genetic data is consistent with these ages, but the oldest is a stretch since that is roughly the date of split from Beringia [ https://www.natur...-07374-1 ]. The first reference speculate in 1-2 kyrs migration time to South America, with a 13-14 ka date that comfortably fits the younger date.

Apr 28, 2019
I should add some clarification and more datings; when I say "split from Beringia" there was a lot of gene flow going on at the time, so I mean the migration into the rest of America. Also, there is one paper that would support the median of the new paper, if we use the same migration time estimate, they give a Beringia split time 17-14 ka instead [ https://www.natio...ericans/ ].

Apr 28, 2019
Frankly & Ernestly to me?
The claims made with this headline & translated into this posted article, seem of dubious merit.

I suspect it is someone rushing to fame by publishing before peer review can judge the evidence.

Archeology has been missed-led down this dead-end road
a thousand times before.

Before I will accept these clai,s? I want to see a lot more verified proof.

& if such proof is not found & verified?
We will have to add yet another failed-mystery to the mountain of scientific disappointments!

Apr 28, 2019
Previous commenters have noted the confusion between ichno-classification and standard linnean. Hominipes modernus is not a relative to the modern human, any more than any other piece of mud is. Lets hope it doesn't contribute to the growing flat-earthism thats accreting around paleo-anthropology and fossil human genetics. A bit of rigour please.

Apr 28, 2019
bl900. I am uncertain whether or not to agree with your comment?

As far as I know, to date. Rigorous DNA testing has resulted in many researchers sharing tentative conclusions that Hominids can interbreed & thus we & our predecessors are all of a single Human Species.

It has been religious bigots & racist advocates of the pseudo-science of eugenics, who have for centuries, been disrupting measured dialogue of real scientists attempting to verify evidence.

"If we knew what we don't know?
We would soon know that
we do not know enough!"

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