Definition of Laetoli in English:


Pronunciation /lʌɪˈtəʊli/


(also Laetolil)
  • Used attributively with reference to a series of volcanic Pliocene deposits in northern Tanzania and their associated fossils, notably (in later use) three trails of footprints made by bipedal hominids and dated to 3.6 million years ago; especially in "Laetolil beds".


1930s; earliest use found in Annals and Magazine of Natural History. From Laetoli, the name of a site south of the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania (from Masai (regional) laetole, olaetole, masculine form corresponding to the more common feminine nkaetole, enkaetole crowned crane), where the deposits were identified in the 1930s and the footprints were found in 1976.