Lucy's Grandson

A fossil skull implies that humanity's earliest known progenitors belonged to a single, long-lived species

JUST ABOUT EVERYBODY HAS HEARD OF Lucy, the diminutive, apelike superstar of human evolution. The discovery of her fossilized partial skeleton in 1974 was startling evidence that humanity's ancestors walked the earth more than 3 million years ago, hundreds of thousands of years earlier than anyone had imagined. Since that find, paleontologists have unearthed many similar bones, some even older than Lucy's, in the same part of Ethiopia where she was found. Most believe that all the fossils come from a single species (scientific name: Australopithecus afarensis) and that this species was probably the forerunner of all later hominids, including modern...

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