More than 10,000 years ago, a young adult and a toddler journeyed across a muddy area during the times when mammoths and other massive creatures were also present. Their fossilized footprints offer a glimpse into the past.
The footprints were discovered by a team of researchers in the White Sands National Park, which is located in New Mexico. With a length of more than 1,5 kilometers. The length of the tracks has set a new record, and the quality of the fossilized footprints is quite impressive despite their extensive age.
The tracks were observed for the first time in 2018 when a team of researchers observed what seem to be a series of darker spots across the shore of an ancient lake that has dried up. Some digging work revealed the presence of fossilized human footprints that were in a great state. Other footprints were also present, and they have been tied to a mammoth and a ground sloth.
A study began, and 427 human footprints have been found, with 90 being analyzed closely by the researchers. Several traits infer that the footprints were created by a teenage or young woman. A heavy load was also being transported by hand, and the presence of smaller footprints suggests that it might have been a child.
The shape and uneven aspect of some of the footprints are a clear hint that the young woman was in a hurry. Some stops were made across the burden to shift the burden while on one leg, and it seems that ice was also present, exposing the two humans to additional risks in the form of a potential slip.
In some areas, the human prints appear to have been firs, while in others, the ones made by the mammoth and sloth tend to be the first ones, and crisscross signs are also present.
A paper based on the research has been published in a scientific journal.