Who is Lucy?

Overview:   In this lesson, you will be introduced to “Lucy”, one of the most famous fossils ever found.  You’ll learn details about Lucy including her relationship to humans, her diet, her appearance, and her form of locomotion.  Then, you will apply your knowledge in the activities that follow. You may download a pdf version of this lesson here (1.21 MB).  


  • To understand the impact of Lucy’s discovery on the study of human evolution.
  • To understand the significance of identifying bipedalism within the fossil record.
  • To become familiar with aspects of the human fossil record.


  1. An Introduction to Lucy
  2. Lucy in Context
  3. Lucy and Bipedalism
  4. Conclusions
  5. Activities and Reivew
  6. References


  • You will use known elements of Lucy’s morphology to identify primitive and derived characteristics, including bipedalism.
  • You will hypothesize the evolutionary relationship between Lucy’s species and modern humans.
  • You will apply what you learn about Lucy to the activity below.
    Required Materials:  Pen or pencil, colored pencils or pens, a straight edge such as a ruler, and copies of sections A-G of this lesson.

Expected Classroom Hours: 1 hr (Assigning the reading outside of class may reduce total classroom hours).

Suggested Supplemental Lessons or Resources:

Last updated 14 Feb 2012