Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lucy in Cahoots with Cousins

Regular readers (Hi, Mom, I’ll call on the weekend) will note my predictions on how many humanoid species we’d eventually find living together (16-20). A news article reports on the discovery of a relative to Lucy, our australopith ancestor, “'Lucy' Lived Among Close Cousins: Discovery of Foot Fossil Confirms Two Human Ancestor Species Co-Existed.” (ScienceDaily [Mar. 28, 2012]).

Gee, I hadn’t thought about them. How many australopiths does it take to screw in a light bulb? As many as they can get in.
Getty Images

But I suppose they need a prediction, too. Going back to the original question of what percentage of extinct species have been discovered of comparable-sized animals? It still appears that 10% would be a generous estimate. So, if we’ve now found two Lucy-aged ancestors, wouldn’t it make sense that there were probably twenty similar primates hoofing around the forests of Africa (and, probably, Asia)?

Ya gotta figure we’re just beginning the hunt for fossil ancestors; most of the family is still out there.

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