‘Lucy’ Species Likely Climbed Trees

Species was ape-like, says new study

Ryan O'Hanlon

A new analysis of the three-million-year-old fossil known as “Lucy” indicates that the hominid species Australopithecus afarensis likely climbed trees. The findings come from a 10-year analysis of the bones of Selam, a three-year-old of the same species as Lucy, discovered in Ethiopia in 2000. “The position or orientation of the shoulder joint was very gorillalike,” said Dr. Zeresenay Alemseged, one of the study’s authors. Researchers aren’t sure how much time the species actually spent in trees, since they were able to walk upright, but Dr. Alemseged believes that they may have used trees to store food away from predators and to nest. The complete findings were published in the latest issue of Science.

Via New York Times