Home science Great Walkers of the Ice Age, revealing the lives of ancestors

Great Walkers of the Ice Age, revealing the lives of ancestors

Great Walkers of the Ice Age, revealing the lives of ancestors

(ANSA) – Pisa, March 22 – Thanks to a Middle Pleistocene foot bone discovered at the site of the Devil's Seat in Rome, dating back 295,000 years, researchers from the Universities of Pisa and Florence have provided new perspectives on the lives of our ancestors. Morphological and functional analysis of the fossil, carried out using virtual anthropology techniques, revealed “the presence of an unusual stress fracture, typical of athletes and runners, but also of long-distance walkers.” The study, titled “Middle Pleistocene Human Metatarsals from Satan's Throne,” was published in the journal Scientific Reports.
“The shape of the second metatarsus of Cedia del Diavolo – notes Antonio Profico, researcher at the Department of Biology at the University of Pisa and corresponding author of the study – differs from that of Neanderthals and indicates the presence of a second human group, most likely Homo heidelbergensis, the common ancestor of Homo sapiens and Neanderthals.” According to According to Damiano Marchi, a professor at the University of Pisa and one of the authors of the research, “The structure of this foot bone tells us that the population to which it belongs was made up of individuals who were very active in the area, and who walked long distances in their daily lives.” Tommaso Mori, from Harvard University, adds: “The presence of this type of metatarsal fracture can be linked to the lifestyles of our ancestors, especially continuous hunting, a style that involves chasing prey until exhaustion during the hottest hours of the day.” The Department of Biology at the University of Florence, which also includes Alessandro Rega, concluded: “ This study shows how often new discoveries come from reinterpreting old data. In our case, the fossil discovered in the 1950s was studied through advanced virtual anthropology techniques “which made it possible to investigate characteristics that could not be studied before. From a small bone in the foot, it was possible to obtain a large amount of information about the evolution of And the way of life of our ancestors.” (handle).


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