Lucy (Australopithecus) - Notable Characteristics - Postcranial

Postcranial

One of Lucy's most striking characteristics is a valgus knee, which indicates that she normally moved by walking upright. Her femoral head was small and her femoral neck was short, both primitive characteristics. Her greater trochanter, however, was clearly derived, being short and human-like rather taller than the femoral head. The length ratio of her humerus to femur was 84.6% compared to 71.8% for modern humans and 97.8% for Common Chimpanzees, indicating that either the arms of A. afarensis were beginning to shorten, the legs were beginning to lengthen, or both were occurring simultaneously. Lucy also had a lumbar curve, another indicator of habitual bipedalism. Lucy likely had non-pathological (physiologic) flat feet, not to be confused with pes planus, though other afarensis individuals appear to have had arched feet.

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