"Lucy" Was No Swinger, Walked Like Us, Fossil Suggests
Human ancestor couldn't climb much better than modern humans, study says.
With the newfound A. afarensis fossil, "just about everything that you would expect of a modern bipedal foot is present here," said anthropologist C. Owen Lovejoy, who was not involved in the research.
"I don't know what more the world could want in order to demonstrate that upright walking similar to that of modern man was present" in A. afarensis.
Unearthed at a known A. afarensis fossil trove in Hadar, Ethiopia, the 3.2-million-year-old fossil is a metatarsal, one of five long bones that connect the large bones in the back of the foot to those of the toes.
The fossil's size and shape allowed scientists to determine that the foot it had belonged to was stiff and had a well-defined arch—two