Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History The Smithsonian Institution's Human Origins Program The Maasai’s Interpretation . afarensis is associated with the Laetoli Footprints, a 24-meter trackway of hominin fossil footprints preserved in volcanic ash discovered by Mary Leakey in Tanzania and dated to 3.5 mya to 3 mya. a. its efficient bipedalism b. its large brain c. its tool-making ability d. all of the above. She lived in Ethiopia 3.2 million years ago. “It’s not the SIZE of the brain, but HOW you use it!” •Jutting jaw, prominent (sticking out) brow, flared cheekbones •Long arms, human-like legs •Under 4 Feet Tall Hominid Versus Hominin ... An artist’s reconstruction of Australopithecus afarensis, a species that can be called a hominid or a hominin. Au. M. Maurice Abitbol, “Lateral view of Australopithecus afarensis: primitive aspects of bipedal positional behavior in the earliest hominids,” Journal of Human Evolution, 28 (March, 1995): 211-29 (internal citations removed). These footprints indicate that Australopithecus afarensis was capable of walking upright. https://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/australopithecus-afarensis-lucy-species.html The hominin footprints were left by two bipedal (that is, walking on two legs) individuals walking on the same surface, at the same time, in the same direction and … e. its efficient bipedalism and large brain This exceptional body size, which falls within the range of modern Homo sapiens maximum values, makes it the largest Australopithecus afarensis individual identified so far. Now, it's time to focus on what we have in common with the rest of life. Australopithecus Afarensis Physical Appearance •Brain is 1/3 the size of modern human’s, but larger than an ape’s brain. That makes it look more plausible that A. anamensis and A. afarensis could actually be branches from a common ancestor; in other words, they could be sisters, not mother and daughter. Hominin burial - We have learned a lot by trying to figure out what makes humans unique. Leslie Aiello quoted in Leakey and Lewin, Origins Reconsidered: In Search of What Makes Us Human, 196. The large body size aspect is also reflected in the local community’s interpretations of the Laetoli hominin footprints. 'Lucy' is a collection of fossilised bones that once made up the skeleton of a hominid from the Australopithecus afarensis species. Hominin footprints were found at a place called Laetoli in Tanzania, which is slightly older than the Australopithecus afarensis fossil skeleton called Lucy found at Hadar in Ethiopia. The skeleton on the left is “Lucy,” an Australopithecus afarensis that is 3.2 million years old. What makes afarensis a hominin? What We have in common with the rest of life to focus on what We have in common with rest! Left is “ Lucy, ” an Australopithecus afarensis that is 3.2 years! 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