Lucy – Australopithecus afarensis
Common name, Lucy
3.2 million years
Afar Depression, Ethiopia
November 24, 1974
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. In Ethiopia it is also known as Dinkinesh which means “you are marvelous” in the Amharic language. It was discovered in 1974 at Hadar in the Awash Valley of the Afar Triangle in Ethiopia. In paleoanthropology, usually only fossil fragments are found and only rarely are skulls or ribs uncovered intact; thus this discovery was extraordinary and provided an enormous amount of scientific evidence. Lucy is estimated to have lived 3.2 million years ago, and is classified as a hominin.
The skeleton shows evidence of small skull capacity akin to that of apes and of bipedal upright walk akin to that of humans, supporting the debated view that bipedalism preceded increase in brain size in human evolution.
Beginning in 2007, the fossil and associated Ethiopian artifacts toured the United States for six years, as an exhibition entitled Lucy’s Legacy: The Hidden Treasures of Ethiopia. Part of the proceeds of admission fees were to go to the Ethiopian government for improvements to its museums. Lucy and the exhibit were returned to Ethiopia on 7 May 2013.- To be posted a photograph of a reconstruction of an African couple who walked across wet volcanic dust ground 3.2 million years ago … their lave footprints hardened and may be seen in a museum today! …. Meanwhile – – – – —
Meet some of our oldest relatives below and discover what insights they can provide about our own evolution.
Homo floresiensis skull model
Homo floresiensis (the ‘hobbit’)
Nicknamed ‘the hobbit’ due to its diminutive stature after it was discovered in 2003, this human species was alive as little as 17,000 years ago. Find out about this extraordinary find.
Molar tooth from an ancient human found in Denisova Cave, Siberia
Denisovans are a recently discovered group of humans from Asia and, along with Neanderthals, are our closest extinct relatives. An astonishing genetic link has revealed that they interbred with some populations of modern humans.
Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis)
Our close relative evolved in Europe and Asia while we were evolving in Africa. Find out about their lifestyle and theories about why they died out while we survived, plus watch an animation.
How a Neanderthal man may have looked
Augmented reality Neanderthal
Although these skilled hunter-gatherers died out around 39,000 years ago, with augmented reality you can now bring one to life in 3D in your home.
Model of what Homo heidelbergensis might have looked like.
Thought of as distinctly human, explore what fossil remains have revealed about Homo heidelbergensis and why it may be the ancestor to our own species, Homo sapiens.
Reconstruction of Homo antecessor
Living in Spain around 800,000 years ago, Homo antecessor was one of the earliest human species in Europe. Recent finds suggest they may have been the first people to venture into Britain.
Reconstruction of early Homo erectus
Homo erectus was a long-lived species surviving from 1.8 million to as late as 200,000 years ago. This hominin was the first to have human-like body proportions and the first known to have migrated out of Africa.
Reconstruction of an Australopithesis afarensis
Australopithecus africanus was the first australopithecine discovered, beginning a revolution in our understanding about what it means to be human.
AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST – – – – – – — – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -Illustration of what Australopithecus afarensis might have looked like
Australopithecus afarensis (‘Lucy’)
Australopithecus afarensis is one of the best-known early hominid species thanks to an extraordinary fossil skeleton known as Lucy. Find out what Lucy has been able to reveal about her species.
How Lucy, the most famous Australopithecus afarensis individual, may have looked
Augmented reality Lucy
Australopithecus afarensis is one of the oldest early human relatives known to walk upright on 2 legs. Now, with augmented reality, you can watch the most famous individual, Lucy, walking around your room.
PRESIDENT OBAMA TOUCHES THE BONES OF THE [OLDEST HUMAN RELATIVE NOW WITH ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE OF THE FOSSIL SKELETON PROVIDING EVIDENCE OF BODY PARTS SUFFICIENT TO ENABLING THEM TO BOTH TALK AND WALK!]