Why was the discovery of Australopithecus afarensis (“Lucy”) so important to our understanding of hominin evolution?
- JimZLv 72 weeks ago
The main reason was that at the time, it was the most complete of our earlier potential ancestors or likely close relative of our ancestor. By complete, I mean that it has the hip, knee and other joints which showed it to be bipedal, walking on two legs like us. It also showed some curvature in the finger bones which indicated it still spent some time in the trees. These kind of things are important to understand human evolution.
- Anonymous3 weeks ago
It resembles humans more than any species that lived at about the same time. Therefore it is the most likely direct ancestor of humans, at least until some other fossil from about the same period of time that can be found to be even more closely related than A. afarensis. It is also almost 4 million years old, or about a million years after we last shared an ancestor with the chimpanzee. It shows bipedal locomotion has already evolved by that time.
- martinLv 73 weeks ago
It's because Lucy is a million years old. It establishes that humans existed that far back.
- Old Man DirtLv 73 weeks ago
Lucy is proof that scientific hoax's still take place. It contributed nothing to our actual understanding and did more to cloud the issue then it answered.
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- Gray BoldLv 73 weeks ago
The Lucy specimen is an early australopithecine and is dated to about 3.2 million years ago. The skeleton presents a small skull akin to that of non-hominin apes, plus evidence of a walking-gait that was bipedal and upright, akin to that of humans (and other hominins); this combination supports the view of human evolution that bipedalism preceded increase in brain size.