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Overall, Lucy suffered a broken ankle, arm, knee, pelvis and at least one fractured rib - suggesting she must have suffered severe internal organ damage He then consulted Dr Stephen Pearce, an orthopedic surgeon at Austin Bone and Joint Clinic, using a modern human-scale, 3D printed model of Lucy.

The facility has a machine designed to scan through materials as solid as a rock and at a higher resolution than medical CT.

For 10 days, Kappelman and geological sciences professor Richard Ketcham scanned all of her 40-percent-complete skeleton to create a digital archive of more than 35,000 CT slices.'Lucy is precious.

The team also found even more subtle evidence such as a fractured first rib — 'a hallmark of severe trauma' — all consistent with fractures caused by a fall.

Without any evidence of healing, Kappelman said the breaks occurred near the time of death.

Both species blended ape-like and human-like traits but with different features.

These included a pilon fracture of the right ankle, a fractured left knee and pelvis.Code designations of biostratigraphic units should be considered informal nomenclature.It was popularly referred to as "the missing link" in human evolution.Kappelman also saw similar, less severe, fractures at the left shoulder and other compressive fractures throughout Lucy's skeleton.A sophisticated datingtechnique showed that Little Foot, an important fossil of anearly human forerunner unearthed in the 1990s in South Africa,is roughly 3.7 million years old.'The age of Little Foot has been highly debated,' saidgeologist Darryl Granger of Purdue University in Indiana, whoseresearch appeared in the journal Nature earlier this year.There's only one Lucy, and you want to study her as much as possible,' Ketcham said. So you can see what is inside, the internal details and arrangement of the internal bones.'Studying Lucy and her scans, Kappelman noticed something unusual; the end of the right humerus was fractured in a manner not normally seen in fossils, preserving a series of sharp, clean breaks with tiny bone fragments and slivers still in place.'This compressive fracture results when the hand hits the ground during a fall, impacting the elements of the shoulder against one another to create a unique signature on the humerus,' said Kappelman.

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