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Why do paleoanthropologists love Lucy?

In 1974, paleoanthropologist Dr. Donald Johanson discovered a 3.2 million-year-old skeleton with both ape-like and human-like qualities in the Afar region of Ethiopia. Known scientifically as Australopithecus afarensis, in the Ethiopian language of Amharic she is called “Dinkenesh”, which means “you are beautiful”. In English, we call her “Lucy”. So why do we love Lucy so much? It’s because we see signs of humanity in her, such as a body built for walking upright on two legs, just like us!