ANT-2000 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Australopithecus Afarensis, Prognathism, Laetoli

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28 Oct 2016
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Lucy is similar in size to a modern chimpanzee
- climbing and suspension is important; not as important as it is to a chimpanzee, but
more important than it is for a human
- long digestive track
- inward angleation of femurs
- differently shaped pelvis
- derived traits in the human direction which suggests that she is an ancestor of
humans or she is a descendant
- curved finger bones
- funnel shape of thorax resembles modern apes
A. afarensis
- 380-410 cc
- long face, small brain
- back tooth chewing is important
- prognathism of lower face
- intermediate size canines project very slightly (teeth are bigger than in modern
humans)
- deep mandible
major sites are Hadar (Ethiopia) and Laetoli (Tanzania)
Dikika, EthiopiaDIK 1-1
- The oldest and most complete fossil child
- Discovered in 2000, it took six years to extract from sandstone
- The fossil was between ash layers
- Expected to be about 3.31-3.35 million years old
- Mosaic environment (forest, woodland, seasonally flooded grassland, flood plain)
“elam Little Lucy
- Gorilla-like shoulder blade suggests climbing and suspension
1978 Mary Leakey team
- soft surface (ashfall) made footprints less clear
- footprints: big toe position, deep heel, longitudinal arch, deep lateral border
Less than 20 species of hominins are widely recognized
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