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

Barry Mennen (
27 Dec 1996 20:25:45 GMT

In <> (Susan S. Chin)
> "Michael J. Gallagher" <MIKEJOE@Prodigy.Net> wrote:
>: >A friend of mine told me recetly that Lucy had been "debunked," and
>: >no longer considered a real fossil, much less a candidate ancestor.

>Might want to ask your friend for their source of this
>Brent Howatt wrote:
>: As to the question of whether _A. afarensis_ is considered to be in
>: evolutionary line leading to modern humans, there is some difference
>: opinion among experts, but it is largely considered to be one of our

>: ancestors.
>If A. afarensis is not an early hominid species leading to modern
>then there is one huge gap between 3 to ~4 mya in the hominid fossil
>record. Afarensis is largely the only Australopithecine known for one
>years... that's an awful long time to NOT have evidence of another
>lineage... assuming the taphonomic playing field is even during this
>: When Johansen and White published their find, they made the
>: claim that _A. afarensis_ was ancestral. This was disputed by
>: Leakey and others.
>However, in that infamous Walter Cronkite special featuring Johanson
>Richard Leakey...when asked to draw *his* version of the human family
>tree.... all Leakey could do was to draw one big "?" depicting his
>hypothesis of early African hominid phylogeny. I'll take afarensis
over a
>big "?" any day... less explaining to do, why these other fossils
>yet been found. If and unless we do, there is no good reason afarensis

>cannot be an early ancestor to modern humans.
Excuse me Susan, but there is one good reason why A. afarensis cannot
be an early human ancestor: the fossil was not found by a Leakey or
anyone in their camp. ;-)