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The Fossil That Revolutionized the Search for Human Origins: A Q&A with Lucy Discoverer Donald Johanson

Don Johanson and Maurice Taieb with Lucy

Forty years ago today, a young American paleoanthropologist named Donald Johanson made the discovery of a lifetime in the arid badlands of Ethiopia’s remote Afar region: a 3.2-million-year-old skeleton of a small-brained creature that walked upright like we do. It was a primitive hominin, a member of the human family. To scientists it is known [...]

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3.3-Million-Year-Old Baby Shows Lucy’s Species Hung Out in Trees

Selam, a juvenile Australopithecus afarensis specimen

The advent of upright walking was a really big deal in human evolution. Scientists have posited that it allowed our ancestors to see above the savanna grass (the better to spot predators and prey), to carry tools and food and babies, to travel long distances more efficiently and to better strut their stuff for potential [...]

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