FOSSILS

Prehistoric Humans Had Company

At the time the proto-human Lucy was tromping around Ethiopia’s Awash Valley 3.2 million years ago, she may have had company. Scientists have assembled newly discovered fossils into a foot that they say may indicate that another ancestor of the modern human may have been alive around the same time in the prehistoric past. While Lucy’s fossils, discovered in 1974, show she had evolved the trait of walking upright, this other species may have been more ape-like, hanging out in the trees. Scientists had previously thought that tree-dwelling hominids did not coexist with a species of erect pre-humans.