The world’s most famous human ancestor, an extinct hominid named Lucy, died after falling from a tall tree, according to scientists. It’s a revelation that points to tree-dwelling behavior in recent evolutionary history, but some scientists aren’t convinced.
If you're quickly trying to define what sets humans apart from other primates, you might first point to our greater intelligence and our capacity for complex language. The next big difference is that we walk on two feet and stay out of the trees... except, as this video explains, it's not quite that simple.
The world's most famous hominin fossil is Lucy, an Australopithecus afarensis that had a chimp-like brain but walked upright like a human. Now a new discovery reveals that Lucy actually shared her world with another, very different hominin species.
One of the most basic differences separating us from other apes is our ability to walk fully upright, and that goes back to the emergence of the Homo genus 1.9 million years ago. At least...that's what we used to think.
Animal bones were recently discovered that suggested humans were using tools 3.4 million years ago - 800,000 years earlier than previously thought. But that finding is being challenged, and the story of human evolution hangs in the balance.