Pre-human Little Foot and Lucy coexisted around 3.7 million years ago, says study

A new dating technique has allowed scientists to come up with a fresh birthday for human ancestor Little Foot.

Following this discovery, scientists are saying that the pre-human animal species, whose fossil was unearthed in a cave in South Africa, resided on this planet around 3.7 million years back. This makes the Little Foot a contemporary of another famous pre-human animal species called Lucy that used to live in the area where we now have modern-day Ethiopia.

During the said study, scientists examined a skeleton referred to as the Little Foot. The skeleton belongs to a species of the group called Australopithecus, the same group that Lucy is a member of.


Scientists and archaeologists have been debating about the age of Little Foot for more than a decade. The theory discussed above is the latest addition to the decade long speculation. The study putting up the above findings has been published in the current issue of the famous science journal Nature. These revelations by scientists will definitely raise fresh issues regarding the characteristics and diversity of human ancestors.

Chris Stringer, a London-based paleoanthropologist, when discussing these new findings, said that the world will have to wait and see whether this new work succeeds to satisfy all those experts who were criticizing the previous theory about the time of existence of Little Foot. However, he feels that the skeleton found in the South African cave has again highlighted the immense diversity of pre-human creatures both in South and East Africa.

Here, it must be mentioned that Stringer was neither a part of the research team carrying out the excavation work nor was associated with the team of scientists examining the fossil.

The team of scientists carrying out this latest study on Little Foot was led by Darryl Granger; Granger is a geologist representing the Purdue University. According to him, these new findings might permanently resolve all longstanding questions regarding the human ancestor Little Foot.

For those who don’t know: the skeleton called the Little Foot was found in the Sterkfontein Cave in South Africa around two decades back. It was a nearly complete skeleton of an animal belonging to the group called Australopithecus Prometheus.