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HISTORIC ARTICLE
HISTORIC ARTICLE

Nov 24, 1974 CE: 'Lucy' Discovered in Africa

Nov 24, 1974 CE: 'Lucy' Discovered in Africa

On November 24, 1974, fossils of one of the oldest known human ancestors, an Australopithecus afarensis specimen nicknamed “Lucy,” were discovered in Hadar, Ethiopia.

Grades

6 - 12

Subjects

Anthropology, Archaeology, Geology

On November 24, 1974, fossils of one of the oldest known human ancestors, an Australopithecus afarensis specimen nicknamed “Lucy,” were discovered in Hadar, Ethiopia. The team that excavated her remains, led by American paleoanthropologist Donald Johanson and French geologist Maurice Taieb, nicknamed the skeleton “Lucy” after the Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” which was played at the celebration the day she was found. Lucy, about 3.2 million years old, stood only a meter (3.5 feet) tall. She had powerful arms and long, curved toes that paleontologists think allowed her to climb trees as well as walk upright.

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Editor
National Geographic Society
Producer
Mary Crooks, National Geographic Society
other
Last Updated

May 20, 2022

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