The new discovery shows these relatives “were fully humanlike and committed to life on the ground,” Ward said in a telephone interview from Africa. “It lays to rest the idea that they were a compromise.”
The new bone, discovered with other A. afarensis bones at Hadar, Ethiopia, is a metatarsal, one of the long bones connecting the toes to the base of the foot.
It shows that Lucy’s kin had arches stiffening their feet like modern people, as opposed to apes whose feet are more flexible for grasping tree branches.
Story: Randolph E. Schmid, CP | Photo: Wikimedia Commons