Lucy Essay

Topics: Australopithecus afarensis, Human evolution, Human Pages: 4 (1335 words) Published: May 3, 2012
Lucy in The Sky With Diamonds
By Kelly Hastie
M/W 11:00
Anthropology 101
Professor Kamaila
We all realize that us humans have some sort of relation to apes and chimpanzees, but what evolved us from them to becoming bipedal hominids? In this essay I will be inculcating you about the evolution of humans, the captivating discovery of Lucy, an Australopithecus afarensis, and how her uncovering of a new species is so important to our advancement.

Lucy is our oldest, most complete human ancestor and it lead to a controversial change in our view of human origins. Lucy is a 3.15 million year old female hominid, of the genus Australopithecus, whose skeleton was uncovered on November 24, 1974 by Donald C. Johanson and Tom Gray in the Hadar region of Ethiopia. Donald Johanson’s first discovery consisted of a few pieces of a knee bone. He sent the bones to Owen Lovejoy, who was an anatomist and part-time forensic expert. He then examined the bone fragments and concluded that they appeared human, that the joint could “lock”, which meant the animal could walk upright. This was an important discovery showing an ancient bipedal creature.

They named their discovery, "Lucy" in reference to the well-known Beatles song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", which played over and over as they celebrated their findings. While only 40% of the skeleton was found, this uncovering of Lucy was very fascinating and answered many questions to our human evolution because it was the missing link between apes and the upbringing of hominids.

The discoverers called Lucy, Australopithecus afarensis which stands for “southern ape of the Afar region”. This genus was one of the earliest species of hominids; the family of bipedal primates also includes homo hablis and homo erectus. While Australopithecus and Homo species vary in many ways, both hominids share common characteristics that define them as a group. The most distinct of these traits is bipedal locomotion, which means...
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