‘Lucy’ Species Used Stone Tools, Fossil Study by California Academy Says

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NEW YORK (AP).- Two ancient animal bones from Ethiopia show signs of butchering by human ancestors, moving back the earliest evidence for the use of stone tools by about 800,000 years, researchers say. The bones appear to have been cut and smashed some 3.4 million years ago, the first evidence of stone tool use by Australopithecus afarensis, the species best known for the fossil dubbed “Lucy,” says researcher Zeresenay Alemseged. “We are putting stone tools in their hands,” said Alemseged (“Uh-lems-uh-ged”) of the California Academy of Sciences, who reports the finding with colleagues in Thursday’s issue of the journal Nature. Some experts urged caution about the study’s conclusions. The study authors said the bones indicate the human ancestor used sharp stones to carve meat from the carcasses of large animals and other stones