In “The Shoe Fits! 1.5 Million-Year-Old Human Footprints Found” (26 February 2009 02:07 pm ET) on LiveScience.com, Jeremy Hsu says:
Early humans had feet like ours and left lasting impressions in the form of 1.5 million-year-old footprints, some of which were made by feet that could wear a size 9 men’s shoe.
The findings at a Northern Kenya site represent the oldest evidence of modern-human foot anatomy. They also help tell an ancestral story of humans who had fully transitioned from tree-dwellers to land walkers.
The researchers identified the footprints as probably belonging to a member of Homo ergaster, an early form of Homo erectus. Such prints include modern foot features such as a rounded heel, a human-like arch and a big toe that sits parallel to other toes.
By contrast, apes have more curved fingers and toes made for grasping tree branches. The earliest human ancestors, such as Australopithecus afarensis, still possessed many ape-like features more than 2 million years ago — the well-known “Lucy” specimen represents one such example.
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