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Posts Tagged "Lucy"

Observations

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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Observations

Lucy Film Hinges on Brain Capacity Myth

Scarlett Johansson as Lucy

On July 25, French film writer/director Luc Besson’s action thriller Lucy opens in theaters nationwide. The premise is that the title character, played by Scarlett Johansson, is exposed to a drug that unlocks her mind, giving her superhuman powers of cognition.  The movie production notes [PDF] elaborate: “…It has long been hypothesized that human beings only [...]

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Observations

Did Human Ancestors “Walk” Up Trees? [Video]

human ancestors walk tree

A new study suggests that we might be thinking about tree climbing in our recent ancestors all wrong. The traditional idea that our ancestors descended from the trees and gradually—and exclusively—began walking upright might be a gross over simplification. Fossil evidence from early hominins suggests that adaptations for tree climbing, such as long arms and [...]

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Observations

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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Observations

Early human fossils from South Africa could upend long-held view of human evolution

MINNEAPOLIS—It’s a great irony of paleoanthropology that for all the insights scientists have been able to glean from the fossil record about our early ancestors, the australopithecines (Lucy and her kin), they have precious little to document the origin of our own genus, Homo. They know that Homo descended from one of those australopithecine species [...]

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Symbiartic

10 Original Gifts for Science (and SciArt) Geeks

14-047FEATURE

It’s time again for me to offer up a few quirky gift ideas for the science enthusiasts in your life. I guarantee these will be the most original gifts under the tree! And the best part? Many are under $50. Squee! 10. Periodic Table Cutting Board by Elysium Woodworks, $45 on Etsy.com 9. Embroidered Anatomy [...]

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