Finding Lucy! Illustration

Early Humans for Kids
Australopithecus "Southern Ape"
Human-Like Hominids
3.6 to 1.8 million BCE


About 3 million year ago, along with many other animals, the higher primates, including apes and early man, first appeared.

The differences between apes and man.

  • Human-like hominids stood upright.  Apes can not.

  • Ape hands are made for climbing and clinging.  Early man's hands were made for not only using tools, but making tools as well.

Remains of polished bones have been found in South Africa, which may have been the tools of early man.

Very early man probably ate mostly plants, fruit, nuts and roots that they found.  Any meat they got was by scavenging after other animals.

Much of what we know about very early man has been learned from a skeleton was found in Africa in 1974.  This skeleton was of a young female who was about 20 when she died.  Lucy, as the skeleton has been named, was about 4 foot tall and probably weighed about 50 pounds when she died.  Her skeleton showed she walked upright and her brain was about the size of an orange.  There were no signs on her skeleton to show how she died, so scientists are still puzzling over that and many other questions.  The archeologists who found Lucy has gone back to the same area many times looking for further proof that early man lived in this area. It was the discovery of Lucy that has convinced scientists that early man first appeared in Africa.

Lucy (BBC)

Finding Lucy (video)

Riddle of the Bones (interactive)

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