Monday, 5 December 2016

Pre-human ‘Lucy’ spent a lot of time in trees, new study finds

December 1, 2016

by Chuck Bednar

Although she was a biped who regularly walked on the ground, the ancient human predecessor known as Lucy was more muscular than modern people and had strong arm bones that suggest she spent a lot of time climbing trees, a newly-published PLOS One study has found.

Led by Christopher Ruff, a professor of functional anatomy and evolution at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the new study is the first to examine the internal bone structures of “the world’s most famous Australopithecus afarensis,” according to the Los Angeles Times. The analysis of the approximately 3.2 million-year-old specimen revealed that she had hips, legs, and feet that were clearly adapted for bipdealism, but also had extremely strong arm bones which would have allowed her to easily hoist herself up tree branches, the Washington Post added.

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