Lucy, the ‘mother of humanity’, turns 47 after her discovery

This Wednesday, November 24, is the 47th anniversary of the discovery of Lucy whose skeleton is the oldest known of an Australopithecus. It has been considered as ‘mother of humanity’.

The discovery of Lucy, by the American paleontologist Donald Johansson in 1974, marked the end of an ongoing debate, in which some experts thought that the earliest origins of man were in Africa.

Lucy’s characteristics allowed us to say conclusively that upright walking has existed for 3.5 million years, a great leap in understanding the sequence of events in the world. human evolution.

Thanks to its pelvis, evidence was attached that this species walked upright, in contrast to the chimpanzee, an animal that needs all four legs to move.

These have a narrow pelvis with the hipbones facing forward, while Lucy’s is like the current one, wide with the hipbones forming a bowl.

The body of the ‘mother of humanity’ still had relatively short legs and long arms. So it was an important bridge between what are now considered ancient and modern species.

Lucy’s species, Australopithecus afarensis it became extinct about 3 million years ago and the oldest evidence of Homo is from 2.3 million years ago. “That means that the emergence of our own genus occurred between 2.3 and 3 million years ago,” Donald Johansson, its discoverer, recently declared.

Johansson has explained that Lucy’s name, cited as the ‘missing link’ of human evolution It comes from that they were listening to a tape of The Beatles when they found the remains, and that among the songs was “Lucy in the sky with diamonds”.

With information from Europa Press.