Image: ‘Lucy’ Australopithecus afarensis skull

‘Lucy’ Australopithecus afarensis skull

Discovered: 1974 by Donald Johanson in Hadar, Ethiopia
Age: 3.2 million years old

Stuart Humphreys
© Australian Museum


This relatively complete female skeleton is the most famous individual from this species. She was nicknamed ‘Lucy’ after the song ‘Lucy in the sky with diamonds’ sung by The Beatles. This song was very popular at the time she was found. Lucy was only about 110 centimetres tall but was a fully grown adult when she died about 3.2 million years ago. She was bipedal which means she could walk on two legs but she probably also spent a lot of time climbing trees in search of food or shelter.


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