Ismail Serageldin

Statements & Reflections

Serageldin with Lucy



Why is Lucy so important?  Discovered in 1972, it was the oldest fossil of an ape/hominid walking on two legs (bi-pedalism) and it also showed that walking on two legs preceded the evolution of the expanded brain.  

In terms of human evolution, the importance of Lucy cannot be overstated:  She is the first example of a fossil of an ape /hominid walking upright, using two legs, not all four limbs like a chimpanzee.  This is one of the most distinguishing features of modern hominid species. 

In the early 1970s many people tried to argue that while the primitive origins of our species were in Africa, it was in Europe that we became 'human'.  But Lucy proved that we obtained our human features in Africa – in fact, Eastern Africa, in the Afar region of Ethiopia. Moreover, she proved that bipedal upright walking went back as far as 3.5 million years, the proof being her pelvis. Lucy's pelvis contrasted heavily with the pelvis of a four-legged animal like a chimp.


Serageldin introduces Lucy Poster

Serageldin with Lucy

Serageldin with Lucy skeleton model

Serageldin with Lucy

Donald Johanson, discoverer of Lucy

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