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Mother of man - 3.2 million years ago One fossil discovery above all has transformed views of how we became human. But who was Lucy, and why is she so important to human evolution?Australopithecus Afarensis
Lucy was discovered in 1974by anthropologist ProfessorDonald Johanson and hisstudent Tom Gray in a maze ofravines at Hadar in northernEthiopia.
Like a chimpanzee, Lucy had a smallbrain, long, dangly arms, short legsand a cone-shaped thorax with alarge belly. But the structure of herknee and pelvis show that sheroutinely walked upright on twolegs, like us.
This form of locomotion,known as bipedalism, is thesingle most importantdifference between humansand apes, placing Lucy firmlywithin the human family.
The breakthrough in his ideas came in the Galapagos Islands, 500 miles west of South America.
ControversyDarwins theory was thathomo sapiens was simplyanother form of animal. Itmade it seem possible thateven people might justhave evolved - quitepossibly from apes
Natural Selection 1. Adaptation: all 2. Variation: all organisms adapt to organisms are variable their environments. in their traits.3. Since not all organisms are equally well adapted to theirenvironment, some will survive and reproduce betterthan others -- this is known as natural selection. Sometimes thisis also referred to as "survival of the fittest".
Humans have a highly developed cerebral cortex whichis responsible for memory and:attentionperceptual awarenessreasoning and problem solvinglanguageconsciousness.
Studies suggest that the shift to bipedalismmeant the upper limbs were free to engage inother activities. This led to a sharp increase inlearning as the hands were used to manipulatethe environment around them.
Homo Erectus HOMO HEIDELBERGENSIS Homo Sapien Homo FloresiensisHomo Habilis HOMO NEANDERTHALENSIS
Hominids1 HOMO HABILIS ~ NICKNAME: Handyman LIVED: 2.4 to 1.6 million years ago HABITAT:Tropical Africa DIET: Omnivorous – nuts, seeds, tubers, fruits, some meat2 HOMO SAPIEN ~ NICKNAME: Human LIVED: 200,000 years ago to present HABITAT: AllDIET: Omnivorous - meat, vegetables, tubers, nuts, pizza, sushi3 HOMO FLORESIENSIS ~ NICKNAME: Hobbit LIVED: 95,000 to 13,000 years ago HABITAT:Flores, Indonesia (tropical) DIET: Omnivorous - meat included pygmy stegodon, giant rat4 HOMO ERECTUS ~ NICKNAME: Erectus LIVED: 1.8 million years to 100,000 years agoHABITAT: Tropical to temperate - Africa, Asia, Europe DIET: Omnivorous - meat, tubers,fruits, nuts5 PARANTHROPUS BOISEI ~ NICKNAME: Nutcracker man LIVED: 2.3 to 1.4 million yearsago HABITAT: Tropical Africa DIET: Omnivorous - nuts, seeds, leaves, tubers, fruits, maybesome meat6 HOMO HEIDELBERGENSIS ~ NICKNAME: Goliath LIVED: 700,000 to 300,000 years agoHABITAT: Temperate and tropical, Africa and Europe DIET: Omnivorous - meat, vegetables,tubers, nuts7 HOMO NEANDERTHALENSIS ~ NICKNAME: Neanderthal LIVED: 250,000 to 30,000 yearsago HABITAT: Europe and Western Asia DIET: Relied heavily on meat, such as bison, deerand musk ox