Discovery of “Lucy” credited to former CWRU faculty member

Donald Johansen holding study cast of "Lucy" skullDonald Johanson, a former university faculty member, discovered the bones of “Lucy” in 1974. In this week’s trivia question, 59 percent of respondents correctly named him as the scientist associated with the key discovery.

Found in Ethiopia, “Lucy” is considered the oldest and most complete human ancestor.

Today, Johanson is director of the Institute of Human Origins and a professor at Arizona State University.

Many people also guessed Yohannes Haile-Selassie, curator and head of physical anthropology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

Haile-Selassie, also an adjunct professor of anthropology and fellow of the Institute for the Science of Origins, is credited with discovering a new species of human ancestor in 2015. The discovery of teeth and jawbones from 3.3 and 3.5 million years ago at a site 20 miles from where “Lucy” was found suggests there may be a new species of human ancestor.