Soal Latihan dan Jawaban Reading Comprehension 54
A great deal can be learned from the actual traces of ancient human locomotion: the
footprints of early hominids. The best-known specimens are the remarkable tracks
discovered at Lactoli, Tanzania, by Mary Leaky. These were left by small hominids
around 3.6 to 3.75 million years ago, according to potassium – argon dates of the volcanic
(5) rocks above and below this level. These hominids walked across a stretch of moist
volcanic ash, which was subsequently turned to mud by rain, and which then set like
Examination of his shape of the prints revealed to Mary Leakey that the feet had a
raised arch, a rounded heel, a pronounced ball, and a big toe that pointed forward.
(10) These features, together with the weight-bearing pressure patterns, resembled the prints
of upright-walking modern humans. The pressures exerted along the foot, together with
the length of stride, which averaged 87 centimeters, indicated that the hominids had
been walking slowly. In short, all the detectable morphological features implied that
the feet that left the footprints were very little different from those of contemporary
A detailed study has been made of the prints using photogrammetry, a technique for
obtaining measurements through photographs, which created a drawing showing all the
curves and contours of the prints. The result emphasized that there were at least seven
points of similarity with modern bipedal prints, such as the depth of the heel impression,
(20) and the deep imprint of the big toe. M Day and E. Wickens also took stereophotographs
of the Lactoli prints and compared them with modern prints make by men and women
in similar soil conditions. Once again, the results furnished possible evidence of
bipedalism. Footprints thus provide us not merely with rare impressions of the soft
tissue of early hominids, but also with evidence of upright walking that in many ways
(25) is clearer than can be obtained from the analysis of bones.
The study of fossil footprints is not restricted to examples from such remote periods.
Hundreds of prints are known, for example, in French caves dating from the end of the
last ice age, approximately 10,000 years ago. Research by Leon Pales, using detailed
silicon resin molds of footprints mostly made by bare feet, has provided information
(30) about this period.
Reading Comprehension 54
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the career of Mary Leakey
The analysis of footprint fossils
Behavioral patterns of early humans
Accurate dating of hominid remains
comparison with footprints from other locations
testing the fossilized bones of the hominids
studying the shape of the footprints
analyzing nearly rock layers
the ash was still warm from the volcanic cruptions
suitable conditions caused the ash harden
the ash contained potassium anti argon
they were buried by a second volcanic eruption
The number of toes
A pronounced ball
The shape or the heel
A raised arch
steps taken by the hominids
objects carried by the hominids
To emphasize the size of the hominids foot
To speculate on a possible injury the hominid had suffered
To give an example of similarity to modern human footprints
To indicate the weight of early hominids
They are more difficult to study than the Laetoli prints
They show more detail than the Laetoli prints.
They are of more recent origin than the Laetoli prints.
They are not as informative as the Laetoli prints.
"photogrammetry" (line 16)
"arch" (line 9)
"hominids" (line 3)
"silicon resin molds” (line 29)