Scientists have uncovered the footprints of a group of Neanderthal children who walked on a sand dune in France 80,000 years ago.
The team of archaeologists analysed 257 footprints discovered at Le Rozel on the coast of Normandy, northern France, and found that they belong to a group of between 10 and 14 individuals, most of whom were children including a two-year-old.
It is thought the footprints were imprinted on muddy soil, then quickly preserved by sand blown by the wind when the area was part of a dune system, thus preserving them for tens of thousands of years.
The Rozel site was discovered by amateur archeologist Yves Roupin in the 1960s, but excavation work only began in 2012 amid fears of tidal and wind erosion.
Tens of meters of sand were extracted with mechanical shovels to reach the layers with the footprints.