an imaginative look a palaeolithic life

Lucy’s real name

Some more adventures in teaching my 6 year old palaeoanthropology… we were watching a Nova documentary about human evolution, and they were explaining about the discovery of Selam, an australopithcine child, and were also talking about Lucy and showing computer generated animation of australopithecines.

My daughter looked at me wide eyed in wonder, “was that a real girl who really lived?” she asked.  “Yes,” I replied, and reminded her how fossils were formed from real living things.  “But how do they know her name?” she asked.  I told her that they didn’t, and that modern people gave them names after discovering their fossilised bones.

“Oh,” she replied, “so her name wasn’t really Lucy, her name would have been something like hoo! hoo! he! he! ha! ha! hoo! hoo!”

(I’m sorry that I’m not skilled enough at onomatopoeia to effectively convey her chimp-like australopithcine chatter, complete with bouncing on the sofa in a bipedal ape-like fashion.)

I really couldn’t argue with that at all.

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