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Topic: Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete? (Read 227 times) previous topic - next topic

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  • osmanthus
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  • Fingerer of piglets
Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?
Pop-sci: Our controversial footprint discovery suggests human-like creatures may have roamed Crete nearly 6m years ago

Quote
For those unable to see beyond Africa as the "human cradle", these tracks present a considerable challenge, and it has not been easy to get the discovery published. Some have even questioned whether the observed features are footprints at all. However, collectively, the researchers behind this study have published over 400 papers on tracks, so we are pretty confidence we know what they are.



Open access paper: Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?

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Abstract

We describe late Miocene tetrapod footprints (tracks) from the Trachilos locality in western Crete (Greece), which show hominin-like characteristics. They occur in an emergent horizon within an otherwise marginal marine succession of Messinian age (latest Miocene), dated to approximately 5.7 Ma (million years), just prior to the Messinian Salinity Crisis. The tracks indicate that the trackmaker lacked claws, and was bipedal, plantigrade, pentadactyl and strongly entaxonic. The impression of the large and non-divergent first digit (hallux) has a narrow neck and bulbous asymmetrical distal pad. The lateral digit impressions become progressively smaller so that the digital region as a whole is strongly asymmetrical. A large, rounded ball impression is associated with the hallux.

Morphometric analysis shows the footprints to have outlines that are distinct from modern non-hominin primates and resemble those of hominins. The interpretation of these footprints is potentially controversial. The print morphology suggests that the trackmaker was a basal member of the clade Hominini, but as Crete is some distance outside the known geographical range of pre-Pleistocene hominins we must also entertain the possibility that they represent a hitherto unknown late Miocene primate that convergently evolved human-like foot anatomy.
Truth is out of style

  • Faid
Re: Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?
Reply #1
OK this is very interesting. I think Crete was already separate from Asia Minor then. So there either was an old, indigenous hominin population on the island at the time, or they had come through a possible land bridge still connecting Crete, through Peloponnese, with Europe.
Who even made the rule that we cannot group ducks and fish together for the simple reason that they are both aquatic? If I want to group them that way and it serves my purpose then I can jolly well do it however I want to and it is still a nested hierarchy and you can't tell me that it's not.

  • osmanthus
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  • Fingerer of piglets
Re: Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?
Reply #2
No, Crete was connected by a land bridge at the time.* This was in the Messinian period, so not much water in the Med.

*ETA: Well, I think it was. Either that or the buggers were bloody good swimmers.
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  • Fenrir
Re: Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?
Reply #3
Aquatic apes.
It's what plants crave.

  • osmanthus
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  • Fingerer of piglets
Re: Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?
Reply #4
 :grin: Don't start.
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  • Faid
Re: Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?
Reply #5
On the other hand...



I'm not entirely convinced those are tracks. Perhaps if someone was walking in an irregular pattern, looking for safe footing, I don't know.
Who even made the rule that we cannot group ducks and fish together for the simple reason that they are both aquatic? If I want to group them that way and it serves my purpose then I can jolly well do it however I want to and it is still a nested hierarchy and you can't tell me that it's not.

  • osmanthus
  • Administrator
  • Fingerer of piglets
Re: Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?
Reply #6
I'll leave it to the experts.
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  • osmanthus
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  • Fingerer of piglets
Re: Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?
Reply #7
Just hang in until Teeth comes along and tells us it's all bullshit.
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  • Faid
Re: Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?
Reply #8
No, Crete was connected by a land bridge at the time.* This was in the Messinian period, so not much water in the Med.

*ETA: Well, I think it was. Either that or the buggers were bloody good swimmers.
I guess you're right. My wife wrote an essay on the prehistory of Crete for the Open Uni a few years ago, and I seem to recall that the land got separated from Asia 8 or 9 mya, but I'm likely wrong. It would certainly make more sense if those "hominins" had come from Asia.
Who even made the rule that we cannot group ducks and fish together for the simple reason that they are both aquatic? If I want to group them that way and it serves my purpose then I can jolly well do it however I want to and it is still a nested hierarchy and you can't tell me that it's not.

  • Faid
Re: Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?
Reply #9
I'll leave it to the experts I will accept the published material over the opinions of some people on an internet discussion group.
:yes:
Who even made the rule that we cannot group ducks and fish together for the simple reason that they are both aquatic? If I want to group them that way and it serves my purpose then I can jolly well do it however I want to and it is still a nested hierarchy and you can't tell me that it's not.

  • osmanthus
  • Administrator
  • Fingerer of piglets
Re: Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?
Reply #10
The Med didn't start drying out until about 6 mya, so you're probably right about Crete being cut off around 8 or 9 mya.
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  • MikeS
Re: Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?
Reply #11
On the other hand...
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

I'm not entirely convinced those are tracks. Perhaps if someone was walking in an irregular pattern, looking for safe footing, I don't know.
If it was mud flats or other impressionable material then yes, their footing was not ideal.

  • borealis
  • Administrator
Re: Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?
Reply #12
I thought mud flats and collecting bivalves/mollusks. That's pretty much the kind of track pattern people make collecting clams. (I live near clam flats, have dug clams often. But there are also razor clams that you can just pull from the surface and things like moon snails and little hermit crabs that just crawl around on the surface.)

But those are some weird lookin' feet, if they really are feet and not distorted paw prints of some non-ape animal. 

  • osmanthus
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  • Fingerer of piglets
Re: Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?
Reply #13
Mud are squelchy.
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  • borealis
  • Administrator
Re: Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?
Reply #14
Mud come in many consistencies.

These are bear paw prints. Note the hind paw prints. A bear walking upright, which they do sometimes for short distances, wouldn't leave front paw prints. But the one foot in front of the other/long stride pattern is wrong for bear, I think.



  • osmanthus
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  • Fingerer of piglets
Re: Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?
Reply #15
Bear prints at the top of this image. They've already considered bears.

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Re: Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?
Reply #16
The shame of Sweden!!!  :grin:

  • osmanthus
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  • Fingerer of piglets
Re: Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?
Reply #17
They're not Volvo tracks.
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  • osmanthus
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  • Fingerer of piglets
Re: Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?
Reply #18
Truth is out of style

  • Bilirubin
  • Ain't nothing ta fuck wit'
Re: Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?
Reply #19
Not really

Re: Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?
Reply #20
so a bunch of these tracks have already been stolen

  • borealis
  • Administrator
Re: Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?
Reply #21
By a teacher who intended to sell them. The rest of the site's been buried to prevent further vandalism.

  • Bilirubin
  • Ain't nothing ta fuck wit'
Re: Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?
Reply #22
Yeah Per's not too happy about this

  • borealis
  • Administrator
Re: Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?
Reply #23
I read a brief interview he did about it. He seemed more unhappy about the public being denied a chance to look than losing access himself.

  • Faid
Re: Possible hominin footprints from the late Miocene (c. 5.7 Ma) of Crete?
Reply #24
By a teacher who intended to sell them. The rest of the site's been buried to prevent further vandalism.
Damn Cretans

Also, Greek anti-theft precautions:

Who even made the rule that we cannot group ducks and fish together for the simple reason that they are both aquatic? If I want to group them that way and it serves my purpose then I can jolly well do it however I want to and it is still a nested hierarchy and you can't tell me that it's not.