Sunday, October 20, 2019
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help    |   Cookie Policy    |   Privacy Policy    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Did ancient hominin 'Lucy' fall from a tree ?


Posted on Monday, 29 August, 2016 | Comment icon 13 comments

Did Lucy fall to her death from a tree ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Wikimedia
Scientists believe that an early human ancestor discovered 40 years ago died after falling out of a tree.
When paleoanthropologist Donald C. Johanson first discovered the fossilized bones of an early hominin species dating back 3.2 million years while on an expedition in Ethiopia, the find was celebrated as one of the most significant palaeontological discoveries ever made.

Named 'Lucy', this ancient ancestor of modern humans belonged to a species known as Australopithecus afarensis - a primitive ape-like biped with long arms and curved fingers.

While the discovery has helped scientists to learn much about the lives of these prehistoric hominins, one mystery in particular still endures - how did Lucy die ?

Now following an extensive new study of her remains using modern scanning techniques, scientists believe that she may have succumbed to injuries she sustained after falling out of a tree.

Compressive fractures identified within her bones suggest that she fell feet-first and then tumbled forwards after hitting the ground with her arms outstretched in an effort to protect herself.

"It tells us she was conscious when she reached the ground," said paleoanthropologist John Kappelman from the University of Texas.

Not everyone however is convinced that these findings are correct.

Anthropologist Professor Ericka N. L’Abbé at the University of Pretoria in South Africa for instance believes that these bone fractures had likely occurred after Lucy had died.

"The major drawback is that they didn’t look under a microscope," she said. "Elephant bones and hippo ribs appear to have the same kind of breakage. It’s unlikely they fell out of a tree."

Source: New York Times | Comments (13)

Tags: Lucy

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #4 Posted by Not Your Huckleberry on 29 August, 2016, 19:07
How do they know it was a tree? There are a million other ways she could've sustained a similar injury. 
Comment icon #5 Posted by paperdyer on 29 August, 2016, 19:50
It would matter IF we knew what she was trying to get to eat or do.  Maybe she was hiding from something and fell from the tree when she tried to climb down.  This theorizes, as I don't want to ASS_U_ME, a tree was involved at all as theorized by Not Your Huckleberry.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Clair on 29 August, 2016, 19:54
That goes without saying.
Comment icon #7 Posted by third_eye on 29 August, 2016, 20:35
maybe, just maybe ... Lucy slipped ... ~
Comment icon #8 Posted by Aftermath on 29 August, 2016, 20:43
Perhaps a tree wasn't involved, as pointed out by Anthropologist Professor Ericka N. L’Abbé at the University of Pretoria in South Africa.  Moreover, perhaps Lucy received a severe beating from another ancient hominin; point is we'll never know for sure so let's put her to rest and move along.
Comment icon #9 Posted by third_eye on 29 August, 2016, 21:09
OoooOooh Paleo CSI ... lovin' this I am ... ~
Comment icon #10 Posted by Buzz_Light_Year on 30 August, 2016, 1:16
Lucy, you got some 'splainin' to do! --RICKY RICARDO, I Love Lucy  
Comment icon #11 Posted by paperdyer on 31 August, 2016, 18:58
Hey CBS! New idea for the CSI Franchise!  First class - Who or what killed Lucy!
Comment icon #12 Posted by Gingitsune on 1 September, 2016, 17:35
John Hawks' take:   http://johnhawks.net/weblog/fossils/afarensis/lucy-falling-tree-kappelman-2016.html
Comment icon #13 Posted by docyabut2 on 2 September, 2016, 5:26
I don't think she fell from a tree, other wise her body and bones would have been scattered and eaten by  many other animals    


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:
Members:

6573167
274904
182312

 
Ancient 'lost city' rediscovered in Cambodia
10-20-2019
Archaeologists have announced the discovery of the lost city of Mahendraparvata deep in the Cambodian jungle.
Mystery skeleton found on Mount Williamson
10-19-2019
Two climbers ascending California's second-highest peak recently uncovered a decades-old mystery.
US Navy's 'Doomsday' plane taken out by a bird
10-19-2019
An aircraft designed to survive a nuclear apocalypse recently suffered a rather unfortunate mishap.
Creepy 'haunted' doll filmed moving on its own
10-19-2019
A World War 2-era ventriloquist doll has been filmed moving its eyes and mouth in the middle of the night.
Stories & Experiences
I accidentally called myself ?
9-28-2019 | United States
 
Giant wolf in my basement
9-28-2019 | Connecticut
 
I saw a shadow figure...
9-26-2019 | Australia
 
A haunting in Iowa
9-26-2019 | Central City, Iowa
 
Oddest thing I've ever seen
9-19-2019 | Kentucky
 
The blanket tugger
9-19-2019 | QLD
 
Unknown flash
9-19-2019 | GA
 
An encounter in the woods
9-17-2019 | McGuire A.F.B., NJ
 
Orb of light woke me up
9-17-2019 | Virginia
 
A poltergeist eye witness
9-1-2019 | Iran, Kermanshah
 

         More stories | Send us your story
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
The Byron Street poltergeist
Posted 10-7-2019 | 0 comments
A look back at one of England's lesser known poltergeist cases.
 
This nuclear bunker is storing your data
Posted 10-5-2019 | 1 comment
A nuclear bunker underneath Stockholm now contains insane amounts of data.
 
Naked Science - Loch Ness
Posted 9-28-2019 | 2 comments
Naked Science takes a look at the science behind the legendary Loch Ness Monster.
 
Carl Sagan - Pale Blue Dot
Posted 8-8-2019 | 5 comments
The late Carl Sagan delivers this moving monologue about our place in the universe.
 
How do you move a 13-ton Sphinx ?
Posted 7-3-2019 | 2 comments
A look at how the Sphinx of Ramses II was moved at Philadelphia's Penn Museum.
 
 View: More videos
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.712 Unexplained-Mysteries.com (c) 2001-2019
Terms   |   Privacy Policy   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ