The Life and Death of ‘Lucy’ on The Prehistoric Savanna (Video)
Imagine a world vastly different from ours, teeming with creatures long extinct, and ancient human ancestors struggling to survive against all odds. That was the African savanna roughly 3.5 million years ago when Lucy, an australopithecus afarensis, roamed the land. With the help of the latest scientific research, we're able to piece together her life and death, including the terrible dangers she faced, her greatest moments, and the first glimpses of what makes us truly human. In a world teeming with life, Lucy's life was far from guaranteed, and the archaeological record is full of examples of our ancient ancestors falling prey to predators like theropithicus brumpti, sabretooth cats, and crocodiles.
But Lucy managed to survive these challenges, possibly by spending a lot of time still in the trees. Her diet, which involved a lot of plants, marks a significant moment in the direction of our evolution, away from the resources of the forest and towards the more varied resources of open landscapes. Despite these hardships, footprints from Lucy's time have been preserved in the earth for us to study today, providing fascinating insights into the different walking styles and gaits used by hominins.
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Top image: A reconstruction of Lucy, an Australopithecus afarensis. Source: procy_ab / Adobe Stock.