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Researchers from the Universidad Austral de Chile have extracted an oldest human footprints from an original site in Osorno, Chile. The fossil developed cracks because it was too dry.

The oldest human footprints

A 15,600-year-old footprint discovered in southern Chile is believed to be the oldest footprints found in the Americas, according to researchers.

The footprint was first discovered in 2010 by a student at the Universidad del Sur in Chile. Scientists then spent years ruling out the possibility that the fossil could belong to another animal species and determining the fossil’s estimated age.

Karen Moreno is a paleontologist at Universidad Austral who oversees the studies. Researchers also found animal bones near the site, including those of primitive elephants, but they determined the tracks were evidence of human presence, she said.

Moreno said this is the first evidence of human presence in the Americas more than 12,000 years ago.

“In South America, little by little, we’re starting to find sites with human presence, but this is the oldest site in the Americas,” she said.

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