Re: Lucy's current status -- in the fossil record or out?

Susan S. Chin (
Fri, 27 Dec 1996 06:34:51 GMT

"Michael J. Gallagher" <MIKEJOE@Prodigy.Net> wrote:
: >Is the hominid fossil known as "Lucy" still considered a part of the
: >fossil record of human evolution? If not, when did this change and why?

I'm not sure I understand your question. Are you asking if Lucy is still
considered a possible human ancestor, a part of the hominid lineage
leading to modern Homo sapiens? The "fossil record of human evolution"
encompasses all hominid lineages, including those which became extinct
such as the robust Australopithecines and Neanderthals.

Al Curtis ( wrote:
: "Lucy", a member of the species named Australopithecus afarensis is
: still the subject of some controversy. Many paleoanthropologists
: consider A. afarensis to be on the branch that led directly to H.
: habilis (a species which itself is somewhat controversial) to H.
: erectus to H. sapiens. However, there have been many different types
: of hominid fossils found which have been assigned to the genus
: Australopithecus and it is still not certain which of these diverse
: types led to humans.

: p.s. My money is on Lucy

: -al=

"From Lucy to Language" by Don Johanson and Blake Edgar (Simon &
Schuster, 1996) is an excellent reference book documenting human
evolution from Ardipithecus ramidus to Australopithecus anamensis all
the way to anatomically modern humans. Along the way, you encounter a lot
more hominid species than I've been exposed to... Homo ergaster, Homo
rudolfensis, Homo heidelbergensis....

What I'd like to know is, how valid are these new species designations?
The discoverers of these specimens on the whole didn't assign them to the
names above... so how does one even go about "officially" changing the
designation if the original discoverers who published the finds are no
longer around? Or is it just "the consensus is" therefore that's what
we'll call it?