Perimortem fractures in Lucy suggest mortality from fall out of tall tree

  title={Perimortem fractures in Lucy suggest mortality from fall out of tall tree},
  author={John Kappelman and Richard A. Ketcham and Stephen Pearce and Lawrence Todd and Wiley Akins and Matthew W Colbert and Mulugeta Yebyo Feseha and Jessica A Maisano and Adrienne Witzel},
The Pliocene fossil ‘Lucy’ (Australopithecus afarensis) was discovered in the Afar region of Ethiopia in 1974 and is among the oldest and most complete fossil hominin skeletons discovered. Here we propose, on the basis of close study of her skeleton, that her cause of death was a vertical deceleration event or impact following a fall from considerable height that produced compressive and hinge (greenstick) fractures in multiple skeletal elements. Impacts that are so severe as to cause… 

Bilateral Asymmetry of the Forearm Bones as Possible Evidence of Antemortem Trauma in the StW 573 Australopithecus Skeleton from Sterkfontein Member 2 (South Africa)

The StW 573 antebrachium exhibits bilateral asymmetry, with significantly more longitudinally curved left forearm bones than right, and it is hypothesize that these curvatures resulted from a fall onto a hyperextended, outstretched hand.

Mudslide and/or animal attack are more plausible causes and circumstances of death for AL 288 (‘Lucy'): A forensic anthropology analysis

It is proposed that the physical process of a vertical deceleration cannot be the only cause for her observed injuries and that environmental factors should not be excluded in this ancient archaeological context as with any modern forensic anthropological case.

A limping dinosaur in the Late Jurassic: Pathologies in the pes of the neornithischian Othnielosaurus consors from the Morrison Formation (Upper Jurassic, USA)

ABSTRACT The study of palaeopathology provides valuable information about injury and behaviour in extinct organisms. Appendicular pathologies are interesting as they directly affect mobility and

Reply to: Charlier et al. 2018. Mudslide and/or animal attack are more plausible causes and circumstances of death for AL 288 (‘Lucy’): a forensic anthropology analysis. Medico-Legal Journal 86(3) 139–142, 2018

The evidence presented by Charlier et al. is incorrectly interpreted, and it is shown that a mudslide/flood, or an animal attack, are less likely to be responsible for the fractures.

Ectopic maxillary third molar in Early Pleistocene Homo antecessor from Atapuerca-Gran Dolina site (Burgos, Spain).

It is concluded that the most likely etiology for the ectopic position of the M3 is the lack of space in the maxilla, which is similar to that of an ectopic maxillary third molar in Homo antecessor.

Prevalence of cranial trauma in Eurasian Upper Paleolithic humans.

According to the current dataset, UP males and females were exposed to slightly different injury risks and trauma distributions, potentially due to different activities or behaviors, yet both sexes exhibit more trauma among the old.

The First Healed Bite Mark and Embedded Tooth in the Snout of a Middle Permian Gorgonopsian (Synapsida: Therapsida)

This work describes, for the first time, the occurrence of a tooth embedded in the snout of a gorgonopsian, surrounded by a bony callus, which demonstrates that the animal was still alive after the attack and healed.

Taphonomic inferences about Middle Pleistocene hominins: The human cranium of Gruta da Aroeira (Portugal).

OBJECTIVES The aim of this work is to describe the taphonomic signatures of the Aroeira 3 cranium, with a specific focus on cranial breakage, comparing the cranium with other Middle and Upper



Evidence of fatal skeletal injuries on Malapa Hominins 1 and 2

The presence of skeletal trauma independently supports the falling hypothesis and supplies the first evidence for the manner of death of an australopith in the fossil record that is not attributed to predation or natural death.

An early Australopithecus afarensis postcranium from Woranso-Mille, Ethiopia

A large-bodied specimen is described that is well within the range of living Homo and substantially antedates A.L. 288–1, establishing that bipedality in Australopithecus was highly evolved and that thoracic form differed substantially from that of either extant African ape.

A juvenile early hominin skeleton from Dikika, Ethiopia

The foot and other evidence from the lower limb provide clear evidence for bipedal locomotion, but the gorilla-like scapula and long and curved manual phalanges raise new questions about the importance of arboreal behaviour in the A. afarensis locomotor repertoire.

A three-dimensional classification for fractures of the proximal humerus.

A logical progression from simple to complex fractures was observed and an interobserver reliability study indicated the improved usefulness of this new 3-D concept in providing a common language among clinicians for classifying these injuries.

Ardipithecus ramidus and the Paleobiology of Early Hominids

Ardipithecus ramidus indicates that despite the genetic similarities of living humans and chimpanzees, the ancestor the authors last shared probably differed substantially from any extant African ape.

Paleoecological patterns at the Hadar hominin site, Afar Regional State, Ethiopia.

  • K. Reed
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Journal of human evolution
  • 2008

Patients with pelvic fractures due to falls: A paradigm that contributed to autopsy-based audit of trauma in Greece

The pelvic fractures population with PFx shared common causative risk factors, high severity and multiplicity of injuries that define the PFx-group as a paradigm of injury for audit and this reduced sample of autopsies substantially contributed to the audit of functional, infrastructural, management and prevention issues requiring transformation to reduce mortality.

Climbing to the top: A personal memoir of Australopithecus afarensis

Last autumn marked the 25 anniversary of the discovery of “Lucy,” a momentous event in paleoanthropology, which presaged my eventual seduction into the arena of hominid fossil interpretation.

The pathophysiology of free-fall injury.