“Footprints Mark a Toddler’s Perilous Prehistoric Journey”
by Katherine Kornei
The New York Times, October 23, 2020
Trackways — preserved foot or paw prints — reveal how and where animals moved in the past. Scientists have now unearthed a remarkable Pleistocene-era trackway in New Mexico consisting of 427 tracks that record the steps of a young adult, a toddler, a sloth, and a mammoth.
Researchers discovered the roughly mile-long trackway in White Sands National Park in 2018. It shows an out-and-back journey likely made over the course of a few hours by a young adult carrying a toddler. Both a sloth and a mammoth ambled across the route between the two journeys. This amalgam of tracks reveals the dangers that Pleistocene-era humans faced, the authors suggest.
These results were published this month in Quaternary Science Reviews (manuscript attached).