(My comments as usual.)
Baboon thoracic vertebra bone found in famous Lucy skeleton..
However the analysis conducted by scientists also confirms that the other 88 fossil fragments belonging to Lucy’s skeleton are correctly identified. And the mislabeled baboon bone fragment doesn’t undermine Lucy’s important position in the evolution of our lineage.
From Wikipedia: In paleoanthropology, usually only fossil fragments are found and only rarely are skulls or ribs uncovered intact; thus this discovery was extraordinary and provided an enormous amount of scientific evidence. Lucy is estimated to have lived 3.2 million years ago, and is classified as a hominin (Any member of the zoological “tribe” Hominini (family Hominidae, order Primates), of which only one species exists today—Homo sapiens, or human beings http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1126544/hominin ).
(Strange, isn’t it, the skull of Salelanthropus tchadensis had to of come from a skull that looked different and it created a different looking skull for the Gorillini group which then should have had several different types to end up with the ones we now know as the African great apes- but none exist. By the way ‘Lucy’ is the skull for Australopithecus afarensis).
The skeleton shows evidence of small skull capacity akin to that of apes and of bipedal upright walk akin to that of humans, supporting the debated view that bipedalism preceded increase in brain size in human evolution. (Major assumption here. Standing upright would create the need for a larger brain, maybe. You might need to look farther and understand what you are seeing, maybe it would create greater use of the other two appendages, still a guess. I can think of two bideal animals where the brains size hasn’t increased much: an ostrich and an emu).
The short url above goes to this page:
“Baboons were a close match, both in shape and size,” says Williams. “So we think we’ve solved this mystery. It seems that a fossil gelada baboon thoracic vertebra washed or was otherwise transported in the mix of Lucy’s remains.” (Interesting hypothesis –this vertebra was washed into the same area were the rest of the bones of ‘Lucy’ were discovered, or “Lucy’ might have eaten the baboon, but then again the baboon bones would not have been buried at the same time as “Lucy’.)
He stresses, though, that the analysis, which he will present at a meeting of the Paleoanthropology Society in San Francisco next week, also confirms that the other 88 fossil fragments belonging to Lucy’s skeleton are correctly identified. And the mislabeled baboon bone fragment doesn’t undermine Lucy’s important position in the evolution of our lineage. (So, I’ll continue the charade at this prestigious event and make it harder for anybody else to criticism me.)
“ ‘Early Man walked on all fours’ proclaims one news headline, while another asks, ‘Did Lucy walk on her knuckles?’ News media releases of the latest scientific ‘discovery’ about human origins1 herald the finding that the fossil ‘Lucy’ (Australopithecus afarensis) has the same wrist anatomy as ‘knuckle-walking’ chimpanzees and gorillas.
Some of the media said this was a surprise to evolutionists, who now have to abandon their theory that ‘our early tree-dwelling ancestors came down from the trees and were already adapted to walking upright.’ But evolutionists who insist that Lucy walked upright have already modified their story to accommodate the new information on Lucy’s wrist anatomy. Refusing to concede anything other than upright walking they say that her knuckle-walking wrist joints are a leftover (or ‘vestige’) from an early ancestor who came down from the trees and walked on her knuckles as chimpanzees and gorillas do.
But did australopithecines like Lucy walk upright? Careful study of the skeletal anatomy of australopithecine fossils indicates a stooped gait, probably similar to the ‘rolling’ knuckle-walk of chimps.
Sadly, in this regard the public are often misled by inaccurately reconstructed statues and images of Lucy displayed at museums and in textbooks, etc., as her feet (and hands, for that matter) are often portrayed as startlingly human-like. Many evolutionists themselves concede such errors, acknowledging that australopithecine hands and feet were ‘not at all like human hands and feet; rather, they have long curved fingers and toes’—even more so than apes today that live mostly in the trees.”
“Lucy Skeleton” by Andrew from Cleveland, Ohio, USA – Lucy. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lucy_Skeleton.jpg#/media/File:Lucy_Skeleton.jpg
(The bones shown in white are the ones that they have imagined are the ones necessary to fill in. The brown bones are the ones they have actually uncovered in and around the area where the skull bones were found. Notice that in the ‘imaginary’ reconstruction, they show the elongated feet and hands that are not typical of a Homo sapiens. The blue part of the frontal rib cage is completely speculative-imagining that IF the fossil was bipedal this is how it should look, if the fossil wasn’t bipedal the rib cage would look completely different. )