What Is the Hominid Called "Lucy"?


Quick Answer

Lucy is the name bestowed upon an early hominid fossil by anthropologist Donald Johanson when he and his student, Tom Gray, discovered it in 1974. The discovery has been crucially important to understanding human evolution as the fossil's age is estimated at around 3.2 million years.

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Full Answer

The species to which Lucy belonged is known as Australopithecus afarensis. Lucy is not of the same species as modern humans but was a hominid and strongly resembled humans in many ways. Among the most important of Lucy's characteristics is that she walked upright on two legs. This manner of walking, known as bipedalism, is one of the key elements that distinguish modern humans, and hominids in general, from closely related apes, such as chimpanzees. .

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