Park operators found the first footprints in a dry lake in White Sands National Park in 2009.
However, researchers from the US Geological Survey (USGS) have only recently analyzed seeds trapped in fossils and found to be approximately 22,800 to 21,000 years old.
Findings can help to clarify the mystery of when the first people came to both Americas. Most experts believe that they came across the now submerged mainland, which used to connect Asia with Alaska.
Based on various evidence, including stone tools, fossils and genetic analysis,
“Fossil footprints are undeniable and more direct evidence than cultural artifacts, modified bones or other conventional fossils,” said the authors of a study published by the journal Science on Thursday. stands in the study. According to its authors, people undoubtedly lived in North America at that time, but they could have come to it even earlier.
Footprints of children and teenagers
Based on the size of the footprints, scientists believe that at least some were made by children and teenagers who lived during the last ice age.
Source: TASR / AP
David Bustos, who is in charge of financing the national park, said he noticed the first prints in 2009 and has found more since then
“We knew they were old, but we had no way of determining their age until we discovered the seeds that stuck to them,” described Bustos.
Petrified traces are made of fine mud and clay, so scientists had to proceed quickly and prudently in gathering evidence.
“The only way to we can save them, record them – get many photos and create 3D models, “ said Bustos.
Earlier excavations in White Sands National Park have revealed petrified traces of a saber-toothed tiger, Great Crested Grebe, Colombian mammoth and other animals that lived during the Ice Age
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