- Comparative Anatomy
30 Nov 1974
Johanson and Taieb 1976
Over 40% of Lucy’s skeleton was recovered, making her one of the most complete fossil hominins ever found. Among the 47 fossilized bones recovered were fragments of her mandible, cranium, ribs, vertebrae, clavicle, scapula, humerus, radius, ulna, femur, tibia, fibula, pelvis, sacrum, and phalanges.
The wide range of preserved elements offers a unique opportunity to reconstruct a great deal of australopithecine anatomy and hypothesize about Lucy’s behavior. For example, dental eruption and complete fusion of the epiphyeasel lines on her bones indicate Lucy was a mature adult, while her small stature (107 cm) and the shape of her pelvis indicate that she was female. As with other A. afarensis fossils, Lucy has a relatively small brain at approximately 410 cc.
In addition, her upper limbs appear more similar to arboreal primate, such as extant chimpanzees, but her lower limb morphology exhibit features typical of habitual bipedalism. Mosaic features such as these suggest that A. afarensis was fully bipedal but continued to spend large amounts of time in trees, perhaps to access food resources or seeking refuge from predators.
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