Fall from a tree may have caused death of 'Lucy' the famed fossil

By REUTERS
August 29, 2016 21:32

 
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AUSTIN - Lucy, one of the best known ancestors of humans to ever roam the earth, may have died after a fall from a tree, University of Texas researchers said on Monday after studying her 3.18-million-year-old fossilized remains.

A high resolution X-ray CT (computed tomography) study of Lucy, a female hominid, indicates she suffered fractures to her right humerus not typically seen in fossils. There were also less severe fractures on the left shoulder and other compressive fractures throughout the skeleton, they said.

The injuries were consistent with those "caused by a fall from considerable height when the conscious victim stretched out an arm in an attempt to break the fall," according to the research from John Kappelman, a University of Texas anthropology and geological sciences professor, who consulted with Stephen Pearce, an orthopedic surgeon at Austin Bone and Joint Clinic.

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