Explain How Lucy Could Be Viewed as “the Missing Link”

Topics: Human evolution, Human, Hominidae Pages: 4 (1357 words) Published: November 8, 2009
Explain how Lucy could be viewed as “the missing link”

Australopithecus Afarensis, commonly known as Lucy, can be seen by many scientific and historic facts as ‘the missing link’. Anthropologists show that Lucy is a transitional fossil which helps prove the way hominids changed throughout the ages. Bipedalism is the biggest and most important evidence that Lucy has shown to tell one how she lived in the chain of evolution. The morphology of Lucy’s skeleton has so many different characteristics which involve both traits of ape and traits of modern humans. Evidence shown from Australopithecus Afarensis has enough information to persuade one that she is the missing link of human evolution.
A missing link is something that exists in between two forms. For Lucy to be seen as the missing link she must have equal characteristics of both species of apes and humans. “Transitional fossils” are the fossilised remains of intermediary forms of life that illustrate an evolutionary transition. A Transitional fossil shows characteristics of two kinds of organisms representing the transition from one organism to another. Lucy is an example of a transitional fossil where being in between an ape and modern human having traits of both species. In 1859, when Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species was first published, the fossil record was poorly known, and Darwin described the lack of transitional fossils as “the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory”, but explained it by the extreme imperfection of the geological record. Many more transitional fossils have been discovered since then and it is now considered that there is rich evidence of how all the major groups of organisms are related, much of it in the form of transitional fossils.

Lucy, who lived about 3.2 million years ago, was terrestrial which means she lived her life on ground, but she could still climb trees. Some believe she maintained evidence of her arboreal origin...

Bibliography: Johanson D, Edey M. 1980 Lucy: The Beginnings of Human Kind. New York. Simon & Schuster.
Tattersall, Ian. 1996. The Fossil Trail: How We Know What We Think We Know About Human Evolution. New York. Oxford Press
Zihlman A., Simmons C. 2000. Human Evolution Colouring Book. New York. Harper Collins Publishers.
Klein, G Richard., Edgar B. 2002. The Dawn of Human Culture. New York. Nevraumont Publishing Company
Jolly J Clifford., Plog F. 1976. Physical Anthropology and Archeology. New York. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
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