A recent study of fossil shoulder bones from a human ancestor reveals that this ancient relative was still well adapted to living in trees, even after the evolution of bipedalism. Studying features like these helps scientists to better understand when modern humans moved away from a partly arboreal lifestyle and transitioned to living exclusively on the ground.

Science Bulletins is a production of the National Center for Science Literacy, Education, and Technology (NCSLET), part of the Department of Education at the American Museum of Natural History.

Related Links:

Science: Australopithecus afarensis Scapular Ontogeny, Function, and the Role of Climbing in Human Evolution

California Academy of Sciences: Dikika Research Project

Tree of Life Web Project: Evolution of the Australopithecines

AMNH: Hall of Human Origins, Lucy

Institute of Human Origins: Lucy’s Story


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