The first digital reconstruction of the muscles of a hominin (primitive human) has shown that 3.2 million years ago, ‘Lucy’, the fossil of Australopithcus afarensis who revolutionized the study of human evolution, was already walking as upright as we are.
The investigation, led by Ashleigh Wiseman, from the University of Cambridge, has modeled in 3D the muscles of the legs and pelvis of the famous Lucy, discovered by Donald Johanson in Ethiopia in 1974.
Named after the Beatles’ hit (“Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”), it is one of the most complete skeletons of Australopithecus of which 40% of the bones are preserved.
In life, Lucy was 1.10 meters tall, weighed about 27 kilos, and had a skull comparable to that of a chimpanzee and a brain equivalent to a third of ours. It is believed that when she died she was about 20 years old, since she had just gotten her wisdom teeth.
Australopithecus afarensis was an early human species that lived in eastern Africa more than three million years ago and managed to adapt to the forests and savannah, allowing it to survive for almost a million years.