Lucy (Australopithecus)

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Catalog number AL 288-1
Common name Lucy
Species Australopithecus afarensis
Age 3.2 million years
Place discovered Afar Depression, Ethiopia
Date discovered November 24, 1974
Discovered by Johanson and Gray[1]

Lucy is the common name of AL 288-1, several hundred pieces of bone representing about 40% of the skeleton of a female Australopithecus afarensis. It was discovered in 1974 at Hadar in the Awash Valley of Ethiopia's Afar Depression.

This discovery gave us much scientific evidence. Lucy lived about 3.2 million years ago,[2] and is classified as a hominid.

The skeleton shows evidence that Lucy had a small skull capacity, like an ape, but that she walked upright like a human. This supported the view that bipedalism (walking upright) came before increase in brain size in human evolution. Those features are true of all australopithecines.[3][4]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Instutute of Human Origins". Retrieved 2007-08-30.
  2. "Mother of man - 3.2 million years ago". BBC Home. Retrieved 2008-10-10.
  3. Johanson D.C. & Maitland A.E. 1981. Lucy: the beginning of humankind. St Albans: Granada, 283–297. ISBN 0-586-08437-1
  4. Wood, B.A. 1994. Evolution of australopithecines. In Jones S. Martin R. & Pilbeam D. (eds) 2004. The Cambridge encyclopedia of human evolution. 8th ed, Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-46786-1