Washington: Google Doodle on Tuesday celebrated the 41st anniversary of the discovery of the world’s most famous early human ancestor, the 3.2 million-year-old ape ‘Lucy’.
’Lucy’ was the first Australopithecus afarensis skeleton ever found, though her remains are only about 40 per cent. Australopithecus afarensis is an extinct hominid that lived between 3.9 and 2.9 million years ago.
Exactly 41 years ago, humanity came to know about the oldest known example of a bipedal primate and a crucial stepping stone between apes and homo sapiens.
Bipedalism is seen as one of the key distinctions between Homo sapiens and chimpanzees. According to National Geographic, with a mixture of ape and human features including long dangling arms but pelvic, spine, foot, and leg bones suited to walking upright — slender Lucy stood three-and-a-half feet tall.
Inspired by repeated playings of “Lucy in the sky with diamonds” at a celebratory party on the day the specimen was found, researchers named it ‘Lucy’.
Lucy’s size gives her away as a female. Later fossil discoveries established that A. afarensis males were quite a bit larger than females. A number of factors point to Lucy being fully grown.