posted on Dec, 2 2009 @ 09:40 AM
1974: Paleonanthropologist Don Johanson and graduate student Tom Gray discover the skeleton of Lucy, the first recognizably human member of the
primate family tree.
One morning toward the end of his second field season in Hadar, Ethiopia, Johanson decided to put his paperwork away and go bone-hunting with Gray.
After several fruitless hours, they stopped in a gully that had been searched twice before, yielding nothing.
This time, Johanson noticed a fragment of arm bone. Near it were pieces of ribs, legbones, vertebrae and skull — all, amazingly, from the same
skeleton. Thus was born specimen AL 288-1, whom the world would eventually know as Lucy.
Johanson’s team found hundreds of fragments, assembling them into the skeleton of a female Australopithecus afarensis who lived 3.2 million years
ago and stood 3½ feet tall, with an emphasis on stood. Though Lucy’s long fingers and toes hinted at the arboreal origins of humanity’s
ancestors, her pelvis and knees were clearly suited for walking on the ground.
Picture of bone fragments at the link, time flies, 1974.