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Australopithecus afarensis adult male - head model - Smithsonian Museum of Natural History - 2012-05-17 | by Tim Evanson
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Australopithecus afarensis adult male - head model - Smithsonian Museum of Natural History - 2012-05-17

A reconstruction of the head of an Australopithecus afarensis -- a human ancestor -- on display in the Hall of Human Origins in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

 

Australopithecus afarensis is an extinct human ancestor that lived between 3.9 to 2.9 million years ago. It is more closely related to human beings that Australopithecus africanus, which also lived at about the same time. Australopithecus afarensis was discovered in the Afar region of Ethiopia (hence the name "afarensis") in November 1973. The genus name, "Australopithecus", comes from the Latin word australis (or "southern") and the Greek word pithekos ("ape").

 

The most famous find is a partial skeleton discovered on November 24, 1974. It was named named Lucy because the scientists who found it repeatedly played the song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" in celebration.

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Taken on May 17, 2012