Dating a prehistoric find
Since Ardi’s skeleton suggests that humans and chimps evolved separately from a common ancestor, she effectively disproved the theory that humans might have evolved from early chimps.
Instead, we now know that humans have been evolving separately from apes for at least six million years.
And deservingly so, given that she revolutionized how we think about human evolution.
Before 1974, anthropologists believed that human intelligence predated our ability to walk on two legs, but Lucy proved that the opposite was true.
But the structure of Lucy’s pelvis and knee showed that she walked upright on two legs, placing her within the human family.
She ate fruits, nuts, and seeds, and possibly termites and bird eggs.
It is also known that Lucy was a fully grown adult, probably about 21 years old, since her human-like wisdom teeth were exposed and had been used prior to her death.
Although “woman” might be something of a misnomer, since the only part of the skeleton discovered was a pinky finger, which is now believed to belong to a child.
Still, X-Woman marks the first time a new type of human has been discovered through DNA testing only.
She was 1.2 meters (4 ft) tall, weighed about 50 kilograms (110 lb), and walked upright.
She had a small brain, her arms and fingers were very long, and her opposable big toe helped her hold onto branches as she moved through the trees.