(Science read through covers) ‘Lucy’, the icon of ancient human fossils – Donga Science VRESP

John Gersh, an American visual artist, created a life-size image of the hominin Lucy.  Provided by Science

American visual artist John Gersh created a life-size image of the hominin Lucy. Provided by Science

Today, many anthropologists consider the African continent to be the original birthplace of mankind. According to the orthodox theory, primates lived in Africa millions of years ago, causing various species to appear throughout Africa. Some crossed over to Africa and into Eurasia. These people are called ‘hominins’, the ancestors of humans. From hominins, modern humans, Homo sapiens, were born. This theory was established through ancient human fossils unearthed by paleoanthropologists.

On the 4th, the world’s most famous ancient human fossil, ‘Lucy’, appeared on the cover of Science. American visual artist John Gersh reconstructed Lucy’s body muscle by muscle. On the cover, Lucy glances at the reader and takes a step in front of the illustration of her name. Lucy’s characteristic of standing upright and stable is clearly revealed. On this day, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Lucy’s discovery, Science published an article looking back on the story of Lucy, who changed views on the origins of mankind.

In 1974, Donald Johanson, a young anthropologist and director of the Institute of Human Origins in Arizona, discovered an elbow bone in the Hadar region of Afar State, northern Ethiopia. He had been working on finding human fossils for three years. He then found a small fragment of the occiput bone, and a few meters to the side, a leg bone, a vertebrae, and a fragment of a jawbone. When the excavated bone fragments were matched, a hominin with a height of 1.2 m and a weight of 27 kg appeared. It was found to be about 3.18 to 3.2 million years ago.

Lucy was called ‘the first human being’. He changed the paradigm of anthropology and emerged as an icon of paleohuman fossils. At the time, anthropologists thought that humans first grew their brains and then evolved to walk upright. Lucy was a counterexample. Lucy’s brain was small but had a clearly erect skeletal structure. This is evidence that humans evolved, with erection occurring first. Lucy is a nickname, and its real scientific name is ‘Australopithecus afarensis’, meaning a southern ape discovered in the Afar region.

The status of being the first human was only valid for about 20 years. After Lucy, ancient human fossils such as ‘Ardipithecus ramidus’ from 4.4 million years ago, ‘Ardipithecus cadaba’ from 5.8 to 5.2 million years ago, and ‘Sahelanthropus tchadensis’ from 7 to 6 million years ago were discovered, advancing human history. all. Nevertheless, after her discovery, Lucy enjoyed the popularity of a Hollywood star. It was common to line up at the museum to see Lucy, and it was news around the world that former U.S. President Barack Obama took the time to see Lucy when he visited Ethiopia in 2015.

Because of this interest and Lucy’s importance in anthropological history, she remains a major subject of study. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Lucy’s discovery on the 6th (local time), a symposium on the impact of Lucy on the origins of mankind was held at the Arizona Institute of Human Origins. Famous anthropologists from around the world, including Director Johansson, who discovered Lucy, attended.


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About Michael Steven

I am a news writer, editor and journalist with more than 13 years of experience. I have an MA in Journalism and have published work in various publications around the world. With me, you don't have to worry about copyright and defamation issues or being punished by search engines. You get original work that complies with media laws. Communication: I really prioritize good communication with clients, from their expectations to the initial plan and vision of the project in particular. Tell me what you want - even down to the level of 'how' you want it written. Nonetheless, I must note that self-expression is very important to me and I hope to reach a solution together with the client but not at the expense of the quality of the finished product.

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