Lucy, an ancient ape-like human relative, met a brutal end when she plummeted from a tree, new analysis of the famous fossil suggests, resolving the three million-year-old mystery of how she died.
Lucy’s upper-arm bones were shattered by the impact of the fall some 3.2 million years ago — a type of trauma also common in car crash victims, researchers from the United States and Ethiopia write in the journal Nature.
Lucy was a member of an early human species that lived in Africa between about 4 million and 3 million years ago. Her partial skeleton was recovered in 1974.
She was a young adult when she died.