Lucy lived more than three million years ago!
Lucy is the name for the collection of several hundred pieces of bones that once made up almost half of a hominin (ancestor of modern humans) that we call Australopithecus afarensis. She and others of her kind were a bit taller than a yardstick (or meter stick)—Lucy is estimated to have been 3 feet 7 inches tall—and to weigh 60 to 70 pounds (around 29 kilograms). They walked upright like modern humans but had small brains like non-human apes.
Lucy was found on this date in 1974, in Ethiopia, in Africa.
Donald Johanson and other scientists made the discovery, which was quickly and widely publicized. Why did the archeologists call the skeleton Lucy? At the time of the discovery, the Beatles song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds was playing loudly and repeatedly on a tape player at the archeological camp.
|Lucy compared to modern human.|
- You might enjoy this “musical study guide” about the 3.2 million year old Lucy.
- For a ton more info on early humans, browse the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History's “What Does It Mean to be a Human?” website.
Also on this date: