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Lucy (Australopithecus) -

Fossil nicknamed Little Foot is the only complete Australopithecus known to date.

The various species of Australopithecus lived 4. As characterized by the fossil evidence, members of Australopithecus bore a combination of humanlike and apelike traits. They were similar to modern humans in that they were bipedal that is, they walked on two legs , but, like apes , they had small brains. Their canine teeth were smaller than those found in apes, and their cheek teeth were larger than those of modern humans. The general term australopith or australopithecine is used informally to refer to members of the genus Australopithecus.

The team returned for the second field season the following year and found hominin jaws. Then, on the morning of 24 Novembernear the Awash RiverJohanson abandoned a plan to ate his field notes and joined graduate student Tom Gray to search Locality for bone fossils.

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On a hunch, Johanson decided to look at the bottom of a small gully that had been checked at least twice before by other workers. Near it lay a fragment from the back of a small skull.


They noticed part of a femur thigh bone a few feet about one meter away. As they explored further, they found more and more bones on the slope, including vertebraepart of a pelvisribsand pieces of jaw.

Lucy and other members of her species, Australopithecus afarensis, Volcanic rock - like the trail at Laetoli - can be dated by a method called potassium-argon dating. Hot, newly erupted lava. Relative dating methods Stratigraphy: based on superposition of g e ol ic a ndu tr p s -More recent deposits lie on top of older deposits Biostratigraphy: based on evolutionary changes of fossils (e.g., pigs) -The appearance of certain animals can be used as a key . Living million years ago, Australopithecus africanus has provided us with some soild information as to who our human ancestors method of biostratigraphy, a relative dating method, was used in southern Africa to date the remains of method was used because of the lack of volcanic ash present at the site did not allow an absolute dating method, such as 40 Ar/

They marked the spot and returned to camp, excited at finding so many pieces apparently from one individual hominin. In the afternoon, all members of the expedition returned to the gully to section off the site and prepare it for careful excavation and collection, which eventually took three weeks.

Over the next three weeks the team found several hundred pieces or fragments of bone with no duplication, confirming their original speculation that the pieces were from a single individual; ultimately, it was determined that an amazing 40 percent of a hominin skeleton was recovered at the site.

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Johanson assessed it as female based on the one complete pelvic bone and sacrum, which indicated the width of the pelvic opening. Lucy was 1. With the permission of the government of Ethiopia, Johanson brought all the skeletal fragments to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History in Ohiowhere they were stabilized and reconstructed by anthropologist Owen Lovejoy.

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Lucy the pre-human hominid and fossil hominin, captured much public notice; she became almost a household name at the time. Some nine years later, and now assembled altogether, she was returned to Ethiopia. Additional finds of A. An even more complete skeleton of a related hominid, Ardipithecuswas found in the same Awash Valley in Excavation, preservation, and analysis of the specimen Ardi was very difficult and time-consuming; work was begun inwith the results not fully published until October These efforts were hindered by several factors: the rocks in the recovery area were chemically altered or reworked by volcanic activity; datable crystals were very scarce in the sample material; and there was a complete absence of pumice clasts at Hadar.

The Lucy skeleton occurs in the part of the Hadar sequence that accumulated with the fastest rate of deposition, which partly accounts for her excellent preservation.

Fossil nicknamed Little Foot is the only complete Australopithecus known to date.

Fieldwork at Hadar was suspended in the winter of - When it was resumed thirteen years later inthe more precise argon-argon technology had been ated by Derek York at the University of Toronto. By Aronson and Robert Walter had found two suitable samples of volcanic ash -the older layer of ash was about 18 m below the fossil and the younger layer was only one meter below, closely marking the age of deposition of the specimen.

These samples were argon-argon dated by Walter in the geochronology laboratory of the Institute of Human Origins at 3.

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One of the most striking characteristics of the Lucy skeleton is a valgus knee[23] which indicates that she normally moved by walking upright. Her femur presents a mix of ancestral and derived traits. The femoral head is small and the femoral neck is short; both are primitive traits.

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The greater trochanterhowever, is clearly a derived trait, being short and human-like-even though, unlike in humans, it is situated higher than the femoral head. The length ratio of her humerus arm to femur thigh is Lucy also had a lordose curve, or lumbar curveanother indicator of habitual bipedalism.

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Though the sacrum was remarkably well preserved, the innominate was distorted, leading to two different reconstructions. The first reconstruction had little iliac flare and virtually no anterior wrap, creating an ilium that greatly resembled that of an ape. However, this reconstruction proved to be faulty, as the superior pubic rami would not have been able to connect were the right ilium identical to the left. A later reconstruction by Tim White showed a broad iliac flare and a definite anterior wrapindicating that Lucy had an unusually broad inner acetabular distance and unusually long superior pubic rami.

Her pubic arch was over 90 degrees and derived; that is, similar to modern human females.

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Her acetabulum, however, was small and primitive. The cranial evidence recovered from Lucy is far less derived than her postcranium. Her neurocranium is small and primitivewhile she possesses more spatulate canines than other apes. The heavier musculature of the jaws-those muscles operating the intensive masticatory process for chewing plant material-similarly would also limit development, here of the skull braincase.

11/13/аи Dating Our Ancestors - Measuring the Age of Australopithecus sediba. Then there was Lucy, a fossil remain from the pre-Homo hominid Austraopithecus afarensis. Lucy was found in Ethiopia and dated to million years ago. In uranium-lead dating, the principal is the same: uranium trapped in rocks during their formation decays to.

During evolution of the human lineage these muscles seem to have weakened with the loss of the myosin gene MYH16a two base-pair deletion that occurred about 2. A study of the mandible across a number of specimens of A. The specimen does not show the signs of post-mortem bone damage characteristic of animals killed by predators and then scavenged.

The australopiths

The only visible damage is a single carnivore tooth mark on the top of her left pubic bone, believed to have occurred at or around the time of death, but which is not necessarily related to her death. Her third molars were erupted and slightly worn and, therefore, it was concluded that she was fully matured with completed skeletal development. There are indications of degenerative disease to her vertebrae that do not necessarily indicate old age.

It is believed that she was a mature but young adult when she died, about 12 years old. In researchers at the University of Texas at Austin suggested that Lucy died after falling from a tall tree.

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A plaster replica is publicly displayed there instead of the original skeleton. A cast of the original skeleton in its reconstructed form is displayed at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

A cast of the skeleton as well as a corpus reconstruction of Lucy is displayed at The Field Museum in Chicago.

The tour was organized by the Houston Museum of Natural Science and was approved by the Ethiopian government and the U. State Department.

There was controversy in advance of the tour over concerns about the fragility of the specimens, with various experts including paleoanthropologist Owen Lovejoy and anthropologist and conservationist Richard Leakey publicly stating their opposition.

For these reasons, the Smithsonian Institution and Cleveland Museum of Natural History and other museums declined to host the exhibits.

Their adaptations for living both in the trees and on the ground helped them survive for almost a million years as climate and environments changed. The species was formally named in following a wave of fossil discoveries at Hadar, Ethiopia, and Laetoli, Tanzania. Paleoanthropologists are constantly in the field, excavating new areas, using groundbreaking technology, and continually filling in some of the gaps about our understanding of human evolution.

Australopithecus afarensis dating method

Below are some of the still unanswered questions about Au. Kirtlandia 28, Alemseged, Z. A juvenile early hominin skeleton from Dikika, Ethiopia. Nature Kimbel, W. Yearbook of Physical Anthropology 52, Schmid, P. Functional interpretation of the Laetoli footprints.

Australopithecus afarensis is one of the longest-lived and best-known early human species-paleoanthropologists have uncovered remains from more than individuals! Found between and million years ago in Eastern Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania), this species survived for more than , years, which is over four times as long as our own species has been around. Australopithecus, group of extinct primates closely related to modern humans and known from fossils from eastern, north-central, and southern Africa. The various species lived million to million years ago, during the Pliocene and Pleistocene epochs. 10/23/аи The footprints of our predecessors The Laetoli footprints were most likely made by Australopithecus afarensis, an early human whose fossils were found in the same sediment layer. The entire footprint trail is almost 27 m (88 ft) long and includes impressions of about 70 early human footprints. million years ago in Laetoli, Tanzania, three early humans walked through wet.

In: Meldrum, D. Paleoanthropologists can tell what Au. The footprints also show that the gait of these early humans was "heel-strike" the heel of the foot hits first followed by "toe-off" the toes push off at the end of the stride -the way modern humans walk. It is not until much later that early humans evolved longer legs, enabling them to walk farther, faster, and cover more territory each day.

The shape of the feet, along with the length and configuration of the toes, show that the Laetoli Footprints were made by an early human, and the only known early human in the region at that time was Au. In fact, fossils of Au.

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