• On November 24, 1974, fossils of one of the oldest known human ancestors, an Australopithecus afarensis specimen nicknamed “Lucy,” were discovered in Hadar, Ethiopia. The team that discovered her, led by American paleoanthropologist Donald Johanson and French geologist Maurice Taieb, nicknamed the skeleton “Lucy” after the Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” which was played at the celebration the day she was found.
     
    Lucy, about 3.2 million years old, stood only a meter (3.5 feet) tall. She had powerful arms and long, curved toes that paleontologists think allowed her to climb trees as well as walk upright.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    ancestor Noun

    organism from whom one is descended.

    fossil Noun

    remnant, impression, or trace of an ancient organism.

    Encyclopedic Entry: fossil
    geologist Noun

    person who studies the physical formations of the Earth.

    paleontologist Noun

    person who studies fossils and life from early geologic periods.

    specimen Noun

    individual organism that is a typical example of its classification.

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