“Lucy and Ardi: Beginning of Human Origins”

1572 Words Oct 2nd, 2012 7 Pages
Ramchandra Rana
March 1, 2012
World Civilizations 101- Dr. James LePree
“Lucy and Ardi: Beginning of Human Origins”

Many people often consider our first milestone in life to be our first step. It is the beginning of many important developments as an individual. It was also the beginning of our development as a species. Dr. Donald Johanson and Dr. Tim White discovered two of the most amazing specimens that would be the stepping-stones to the beginning of evolutionary development. Australopithecus Afarensis (Lucy) and Ardipithecus Ramidus (Ardi) were the first fossils found in Africa that showed signs of early evolutionary development that is connected to Homo sapiens in the evolutionary tree. Lucy and Ardi are important to our
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Ardi moved in the trees using a grasping big toe, yet her pelvis was shorter and broader than an ape’s, indicating that she could walk bipedally. There were many pieces of evidence that proved Australopithecus afarensis to have been walking upright for thousands of years. Dr. Don Johanson brought up human like characteristics in Lucy’s bones that indicated she walked upright. One of Lucy’s most striking characteristics was her knee joint, which indicated that she normally moved by walking upright. Her greater trochanter, however, was clearly derived, being short and human-like rather taller than the femoral head (Lovejoy). Another piece of evidence that proves Lucy walked upright was the formation of her pelvis. Her pelvis and leg bones were almost identical in function to those of modern humans, showing with certainty that these hominids had walked bipedally.
The third piece of evidence that made it undoubtedly that Australopithecus afarensis walked upright was the footprints found at Laetoli in northern Tanzania. In 1976, Mary Leakey discovered hominid footprints that was preserved in volcanic ash and unearthed 1978. “The Laetoli Footprints” and skeletal structure excavated showed clear evidence of bipedalism. Many believe the three individuals who made these footprints belonged to the species Australopithecus afarensis. The footprints demonstrated that Australopithecus afarensis walked upright

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