Australopithecus afarensis is one of the longest lived early human species found in the earth. These species were found between 3.85 and 2.95 million years ago in Eastern Africa. This species survived for more than 900,000 years. Australopithecus afarensis children grew really fast after birth and reached adulthood earlier than us humans. Australopithecus afarensis had a shorter period of growing up than us humans. They had less time for parental guidance and socialization during childhood. Australopithecus afarensis had both ape and human characteristics like, a flat nose, also with a small brain, and long, strong arms with curved fingers adapted for climbing trees. They also had small doggish teeth, and a body that stood on two legs and walked upright. Their adaptations for living both in the trees and on the ground helped them survive for almost a million years as climate and environments changed.
Lucy was discovered in 1974 by anthropologist Professor Donald Johanson and his student Tom Gray in a maze of ravines at Hadar in northern Ethiopia. Donald Johanson and Tom Gray were out searching the burnt land for animal bones in the sand. All they saw was dust and mud when they spotted a tiny piece of arm bone. Donald Johanson and Tom Gray named their fossil skeleton Lucy. Donald Johanson quickly recognized it as belonging to a hominid. As they keep looking they find more they saw more bone fragments like ribs, backbones, thighbones and a part jawbone. They keep looking and eventually they ended digging up 47 bones of a skeleton. It was half a hominid and half humanlike creature that lived around 3.2 million years ago. They figured out it was a female because of its small size, and pelvic