Skeleton likeness courtesy of boneclones.com
Johanson, along with colleague Tom Gray, had been mapping another locality at the Afar site. Feeling "lucky," Johanson took a short detour into another area later mapped as locality 288 and "noticed something lying on the ground partway up the slope" (Johanson, Edey 1980). This "something" turned out to be the exposed portion of a hominid arm bone.
Shortly, Johanson and Gray had excavated several bones and soon realized that they were probably looking at the bones of just one individual, rather than the scattered bones of several individuals. After retrieving several pieces of jaw, they returned to their campsite to note their discovery and let the others know what they found.
|"In a quadruped – an ape, say – the feet are held far apart, and each hind leg descends straight to the ground beneath the hip socket. In bipedal humans, on the other hand, the feet pass close to each other during walking so that the body's center of gravity can move ahead in a straight line. If this didn't happen, the center of gravity would have to swing with each stride in a wide arc around the supporting leg. This would be extremely clumsy and inefficient, wasting a lot of energy. So in bipeds, both femora angle in from the hip joint to converge at the knee; the tibiae then descend straight to the ground. In the human knee joint, this adaptation shows up in the angle – known as the "carrying angle" – that is formed between the long axis of the femur and tibia."|
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