- Fossils found from this speciman and the famed Lucy skeleton appear to be similar.
- Dubbed "Big Man," researchers believe this hominid was about 5 feet tall and lived a ground-based lifestyle.
- Lucy was later found to be more chimp-like than hominid.
An older guy has sauntered into Lucy's life, and some researchers believe he stands ready to recast much of what scientists know about the celebrated early hominid and her species.
Excavations in Ethiopia's Afar region have uncovered a 3.6-million-year-old partial male skeleton of the species Australopithecus afarensis. This is the first time since the excavation of Lucy in 1974 that paleoanthropologists have turned up more than isolated pieces of an adult from the species, which lived in East Africa from about 4 million to 3 million years ago.
A nearly complete skeleton of an A. afarensis child has been retrieved from another Ethiopian site.
Discoverers of the skeleton, led by anthropologist Yohannes Haile-Selassie of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, consider this a Desi Arnaz moment. As the late actor often exclaimed on his classic television show, "Lucy, you got some 'splainin' to do!" But other researchers are not so convinced that the new fossil changes much of what they already knew about Lucy and her kind.