White Sands National Monument, New Mexico. (Photo by: Greg Vaughn /VW PICS/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)


White Sands National Monument, New Mexico. (Photo by: Greg Vaughn /VW PICS/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Photo by: VW Pics

VW Pics

Prehistoric Footprints Tell An Incredible Story

By: Discovery

Thousands of years ago, our prehistoric predecessors inhabited a planet that looked very different. And even all this time later, we are still learning how they lived and behaved. A discovery in New Mexico teaches us about a young child's journey.

October 24, 2020

In a journal article recently published by the Quaternary Science Reviews, researchers have outlined their discovery of a prehistoric path of footprints in White Sands National Park in New Mexico. This groundbreaking find showed a journey of an adolescent of either sex or young female who was accompanied by a toddler. The earth recorded about a mile of this trip, and during parts it is clear that the journeyman (or journeywoman) was toting a toddler.

One of the authors of the journal article, Dr. Sally Reynolds, a mammalian paleontologist from Bournemouth University discussed her findings with the New York Times. She hypothesized an incredible image of the day that these footprints were saved in time. Starting with describing the site, "We have many adult tracks, and then every now and again we have these tiny baby tracks." The journal predicts that the owner of the footprints was traveling at quite the speed — about four miles per hour. She continued, "Imagine running for a bus... it's not a stroll."

This finding really allows Dr. Reynolds, and her other collaborators, to understand the behaviors of the people living during this time, the Pleistocene era. Based on the evidence at hand, you have a mother accompanied by a small child, likely being carried across a great distance, very quickly. During this period, these people were sharing the land with large ground sloths, mammoths, and more that posed a great threat to a lone walker carrying a child. Other preserved footprints are present in a nearby area of the national park.

This snapshot presented by prehistoric footprints preserved in time created the image of a caretaker traveling with and protecting a child. This action is a time-honored experience that really makes it clear that we are very similar to those that came before us.

Next Up

Uncovering Long Lost Shipwrecks? Count Us In

On August 5 at 10p ET, ABANDONED: EXPEDITION SHIPWRECK is bringing us into the world's greatest sunken mysteries, investigating historic shipwrecks and untold stories of the deep. Catch the premiere on Science Channel and discovery+.

Raney Family Battle the Elements on Homestead

The Raney family face their most difficult challenges yet when HOMESTEAD RESCUE: RANEY RANCH returns with new episodes Thursday, May 6 at 8P ET on Discovery.

4 Reasons You Can't Miss the New Season of Crikey! It's the Irwins

The new season of CRIKEY! IT'S THE IRWINS will stream exclusively on discovery+ starting February 7!

Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Waste Problem 10 Years Post-Disaster

There's radioactive water to be potentially released into the Pacific Ocean. The debate? The disaster and next steps.

Here are All the Shows Coming to Discovery and discovery+ that You Don't Want to Miss

Get a first look at the exciting new series and documentaries coming soon to Discovery, Animal Planet, Science Channel and discovery+!

April Showers Us With New Shows on discovery+

This month, stream what you love on discovery+. From CRIKEY! to JOSH GATES TONIGHT to DEADLIEST CATCH, you can find it all on the new streaming service.

Archaeologists Have Discovered Ancient Egyptian Treasures – That are 2,500 Years Old

Archaeologists have unearthed a treasure trove of ancient Egyptian artifacts – dating back 2,500 years – including bronze statues, mummies, and hieroglyphics documents that are rumored to be verses from the Book of the Dead.

Wildfires in Yosemite National Park Threaten Centuries-Old Sequoias

The Washburn Fire at Yosemite National Park is threatening over 2,000 acres of giant sequoia trees that have been in the park for centuries. Firefighters are racing to contain and manage the wildfire to protect the history park, its inhabitants, and ancient tree life.

Dive into The Last Unknown with Nature Photographer and Conservationist Ian Shive

In a daring, high-seas adventure, award-winning photographer Ian Shive captures a series of wildlife spectacles including an active volcano, forgotten World War II relics and battles amongst species. The Last Unknown Streams Thursday, March 18 on discovery+.

Everything You Need To Know About Prince William: A Planet For Us All

In a heartwarming documentary coming to discovery+, The Duke of Cambridge embarks on a royal mission to save the planet. PRINCE WILLIAM: A PLANET FOR US ALL premieres January 14 on discovery+.Available in US only.

Related To: