Fossil hunters working under the baking sun in a dry bed of the Lake Turkana basin in northern Kenya recently made a remarkable discovery. They found the skull and jawbone of a humanlike creature that lived 3.5 million years ago. The scientists believe the bones might belong to the ancestor of the human race.
The trouble with the discovery is that scientists thought they had already discovered the ancestor of the human race. They thought it was Lucy.
Everyone Loves Lucy
Who’s Lucy? Lucy is a 3.2-million-year-old partial female skeleton that was unearthed in the arid badlands of the northern Afar region of Ethiopia in 1974 by Donald Johanson, now an Arizona State University anthropology professor. Named after the title character in the Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” the short-legged Lucy stood about 107 centimeters tall (about 3 feet 6 inches), weighed about 30 kilograms (66 pounds), and was bipedal (walked on two legs). Lucy had long arms for swinging through trees; a chimplike, protruding face; and huge grinding …