Footprints are the impressions or images left behind by a person walking. Hoofprints and pawprints are those left by animals with hooves or paws rather than feet, while "shoeprints" is the specific term for prints made by shoes. They may either be indentations in the ground or something placed onto the surface that was stuck to the bottom of the foot. A "trackway" is set of footprints in soft earth left by a life-form; animal tracks are the footprints, hoofprints, or pawprints of an animal.
Some detective work is relatively immediate, with criminals being tracked by the footprints they left in the snow leading from the crime scene to their home or hiding place. This is usually reported as a humorous story in news publications.
Footprints can also allow the detective to find the approximate height by the size of the shoe. The shoe tends to be approximately 15% of the person's height.
Footprints have been preserved as fossils and provide evidence of prehistoric life. Known as "ichnites", these trace fossils can give clues to the behaviour of specific species of dinosaur. The study of such fossils is known as ichnology and species known only by such evidence are known as ichnospecies. The Grallator is one example of a genus that has left no fossils other than ichnites.
The finding of footprints in the limestone beds of the Paluxy River near Glen Rose, Texas show what some people have interpreted as human footprints alongside those of dinosaurs. This sparked the man track controversy, believed by some Creationists to show that humans and dinosaurs coexisted.
The appearance of footprints, or marks interpreted as footprints, have led to numerous myths and legends. Some locations use such imprints as tourist attractions.
Examples of footprints in myth and legend include:
Prints or impressions of a child's feet can be kept as a memento by parents. Usually this is done using paint. The impressions of celebrity's feet, usually in concrete, may be kept in a collection such as that outside Grauman's Chinese Theatre.
Ecological footprints over Europe; in the wake of the publication of WWF's Europe 2005 Ecological Footprint report, Peter Jones, Daphne Comfort, and David Hillier examine the concept of ecological footprinting and look at how it can provide valuable perspectives on resource use and sustainable development.(ecological footprinting)
Sep 01, 2005; THE CONCEPT of the 'ecological footprint' is used to measure the impact of an individual, a community, a city, a country,...