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Fossilized Footprint

Cantera stone with footprint, Holocene epoch (11,650 years ago to present), Nicaragua, gift of Col. Joe McEachern, 1947.9.1.

This footprint was discovered in Nicaragua in 1939 while the stone containing it was being placed into a building’s wall. This footprint (and the many others later found at the original quarry) can thank their preservation to the nearby volcano of Momotombo. The volcano erupted thousands of years ago and caused a slow lava flow. The native people’s preserved footsteps were probably left in their escape from the progressing lava. This sheet of lava covered their footsteps and fossilized them. It also covered the tracks of the local wildlife including a print from an American bison which were never considered to life that far south until this discovery.

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