3.2 million years: the age of Lucy, the fossil.
Perhaps the most famous hominid fossil ever found is “Lucy,” an Australopithecus afarensis. The remains represent nearly 40% of the whole body.
It was found by Donald Johanson and his team in Ethiopia in 1974 and is dated 3.2 million years ago.
The team nicknamed it “Lucy,” a female specimen, since the night of the discovery, they celebrated repeatedly listening to the Beatles’ song Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.
“Lucy” should have been around 20 years old, measuring just over a meter tall and weighing around 30 kilos. She is very short compared to humans, but her bones, including the hip, show without any doubt that she was bipedal.
Up to date, around 100 individuals of the same species have been discovered.
Mary Leakey, the world famous British archeologist, made another important discovery in 1976 in Tanzania: the Laetoli footprints. These prints correspond to a trace left by two bipedal individuals, most probably from the same species as “Lucy,” while walking in an area covered with ash. The ash came from a volcanic eruption, cemented after being covered by soft rain and other ash deposits.