World Famous Human Ancestor Lucy

Human Ancestor Lucy
  • Lucy, the most famous fossil, died 3.2 million years ago after falling from a tree.
  • Lucy, the iconic human cousin whose skeleton was discovered in Ethiopia in 1974.
  • Lucy, an example of the oldest known hominid Australopithecus afarensis, died at roughly 15 years old in present-day Ethiopia. A small creature, about 3 feet 6 inches tall and only 60 pounds, she probably spent nights in a tree to avoid bigger, potentially dangerous predators
  • Using a high-resolution, high energy CT scan of her fossils taken while Lucy was on loan temporarily from Ethiopia to the U.S. for a travelling exhibition in 2007 and 2008, scientists discovered that her upper arm and shoulders were broken. They determined that she probably fell from a height of more than 40 feet, hitting the ground at over 35 mph.
  • Based on the pattern of breaks, scientists believe that she landed feet first before bracing herself with her arms as she fell forward, and “death followed swiftly,” the study concluded.