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Follow the Footsteps
Footprints are a kind of evidence of behavior often called a 'trace fossil' - geological evidence of biological activity. This is in contrast to 'body fossils', fossilized remains from organisms' bodies.
Scientists can learn a lot from sites where human footprints have been found, including:
- estimates of height, weight, and gait of the humans who made the footprints - which also tells us how many people made the footprints
- features of the substrate that the footprints were formed in (was it soft? hard? wet? dry?)
- aspects of the environment that the humans who made the footprints were living in, especially if there are footprints left by other animals
Several human footprints sites have been discovered; you can explore the evidence from some of them here.