15,600-year old footprint discovered in southern Chile

Reuters: Oldest human footprint found in the Americas confirmed in Chile

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

The footprint was first discovered in 2010 by a student at the Universidad Austral of Chile. Scientists then worked for years to rule out the possibility that the print may have belonged to some other species of animal, and to determine the fossil’s estimated age.

Karen Moreno, a paleontologist with the Universidad Austral who has overseen the studies, said researchers had also found bones of animals near the site, including those of primitive elephants, but determined that the footprint was evidence of human presence.

Moreno said this was the first evidence of humans in the Americas older than 12,000 years.


Fifteen thousand years is a long time to have been in the Americas, and as I think it is believed people migrated there via Asia (and Alaska) it makes sense that the Americas were the last continent to be inhabited by humans. And they would have migrated southward, so would have arrived in Alaska well before they got to Chile.

But it is curious that such a large part of the world took so long to be inhabited by humans.

This compares to Human occupation of northern Australia by 65,000 years ago



Aussie sized footprints

The Aussies have got us beat as far as footprints go. In area that has 21 different identified dinosaur tracks they have discovered the world’s largest – 1.7 meters across. If one of those beasties stood on me lying down it would just about cover me completely.

University of Queensland: ‘Australia’s Jurassic Park’ the world’s most diverse

An unprecedented 21 different types of dinosaur tracks have been identified on a 25-kilometre stretch of the Dampier Peninsula coastline dubbed “Australia’s Jurassic Park”.

A team of palaeontologists from The University of Queensland… unveil the most diverse assemblage of dinosaur tracks in the world in 127 to 140 million-year-old rocks in the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia.

Lead author Dr Steve Salisbury said the diversity of the tracks around Walmadany (James Price Point) was globally unparalleled…

“It is extremely significant, forming the primary record of non-avian dinosaurs in the western half the continent and providing the only glimpse of Australia’s dinosaur fauna during the first half of the Early Cretaceous Period,” Dr Salisbury said.

“There are thousands of tracks around Walmadany. Of these, 150 can confidently be assigned to 21 specific track types, representing four main groups of dinosaurs, ” Dr Salisbury said.

“There were five different types of predatory dinosaur tracks, at least six types of tracks from long-necked herbivorous sauropods, four types of tracks from two-legged herbivorous ornithopods, and six types of tracks from armoured dinosaurs.

“Among the tracks is the only confirmed evidence for stegosaurs in Australia. There are also some of the largest dinosaur tracks ever recorded. Some of the sauropod tracks are around 1.7 m long.”

CNN: World’s biggest dinosaur footprint found in ‘Australia’s Jurassic Park’


I bet it wasn’t as fast as our Phar Lap.

They are presumably guessing at the overall size and shape but that’s a big print. And I guess rock doesn’t shrink over 130 million years.

The biggest dinosaur footprint

This has nothing to do with the previous post.

Reported by the BBC: Large Abelisaurus Dinosaur dinosaur footprint found in Bolivia

One of the largest ever dinosaur footprints has been found in Bolivia.

It is more than a metre across – and is thought to have belonged to a type of dinosaur called an Abelisaurus.

It was unearthed in a site near the Bolivian capital, Sucre.


That’s quite big. As was the Abelisaurus, which was thought to measure about 7-9 metres long but this footprint suggests more like 10-12 meters.


The most complete specimen of the similar Tyrannosaurus measures up to a similar 12.3 metres.