Lucy - One of the Oldest Human Ancestors

Lucy - One of the Oldest Human Ancestors
Apparently the scientists who discovered the oldest human to date were avid Beatles fans. As archaeologists uncovered human remains from the dust and dirt the Beatles’ hit “Lucy in the sky with Diamonds” was playing in the background. The scientists were overjoyed at their discovery and dubbed her “Lucy” in honor of the song. They then proceeded to play the song over and over while celebrating their discovery that evening.

Lucy is the oldest human being every discovered. Scientists estimate that Lucy was alive 3.2 million years ago. Lucy’s remains were found in the African country of Ethiopia and are now kept in the National Museum of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Donald C. Johanson led the expedition that discovered Lucy in Hadar, Ethiopia near the Awash River. His team of archeologists excavated sites for weeks before making his team of scientists made their glorious discovery. Performing anthropological research requires extreme diligence and discipline. As with any scientific research, it could be months or years before scientists discover anything of note in their work.

But in 1974 Johanson finally found what he was searching for. This brilliant discovery was all set to the soundtrack of the Beatles. Lucy has been called the “missing link” in human evolution. Humans currently belong to the hominid species and are known as Homo sapiens. Lucy was actually part of a preceding species of humans called Australopithecus afarensis.

According to the structure of her knees, Lucy could walk upright. The little woman stood about three and a half feet tall. Her shortness of stature led scientists to believe that she was female because A. afarensis males typically stood at around five feet tall. Her brain was much smaller than a typical human’s brain is today. After examining her teeth and skull, scientists concluded that Lucy was a young adult when she died. She may have been approximately 21 years of age. Lucy’s remains total about 40% of a human skeleton making her the most complete ancestral skeleton we have found.

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