A UC Berkeley biologist announces that a new fossil discovery links the famous “Lucy” skeleton (~ 3 million – 3.6 million years old) to an even more ancient human ancestor–from about 4.1 million years back.

National Geographic:

When the famous skeleton of an early human ancestor known as Lucy was discovered in Africa in the 1970s, scientists asked: Where did she come from?

Now, fossils found in the same region are providing solid answers, researchers have announced.

Lucy is a 3.5-foot-tall (1.1-meter-tall) adult skeleton that belongs to an early human ancestor, or hominid, known as Australopithecus afarensis.

The species lived between 3 million and 3.6 million years ago and is widely considered an ancestor of modern humans.

The new fossils are from the most primitive species of Australopithecus, known as Australopithecus anamensis. The remains date to about 4.1 million years ago, according to Tim White, a biologist at the University of California, Berkeley.


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