Fossil find puts 'Lucy' story on firm footing

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Fossil find puts 'Lucy' story on firm footing

Post by Strawberry on Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:21 pm

New fossil evidence seems to confirm that a key ancestor of ours could walk upright consistently - one of the major advances in human evolution.

The evidence comes in the form of a 3.2 million-year-old bone that was found at Hadar, Ethiopia.

Its shape indicates the diminutive, human-like species Australopithecus afarensis had arches in its feet.

Arched feet, the discovery team tells the journal Science, are critical for walking the way modern humans do.

"[The bone] gives a glimpse of foot anatomy and function," explained William Kimbel, director of the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University, US.

"It is the fourth metatarsal bone, which resides on the outside of the middle part of your foot, and which helps support the well-developed arches of the foot that we see in the soles of modern human feet.

"The bone that was recovered from the Hadar site has all the hallmarks of the form and function of the modern human foot," he told the BBC.


More on this link:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12412662
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