President Obama touched the fossilized bones Monday of “Lucy,” a 3-million-year-old ape-like creature linked to modern humans — even Donald Trump, according to the president’s tour guide.
In Ethiopia, Mr. Obama viewed the partial skeleton of the hominid in a box as anthropologist Zeresenay Alemseged, chair of the Anthropology Department at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, explained the fossils to him.
Mr. Alemseged asked the president to touch the bones, and said the fossil demonstrated how all human beings are connected.
“It shows that every single person here, 7 billion people, including Donald Trump, came down through the chain,” he said.
“That’s amazing,” Mr. Obama said. “So Lucy was on the chain to Homo sapiens.”
The president asked “how many jumps” there were between Lucy and modern humans. Mr. Alemseged said there were multiple generations in between, and that “we have the evidence that Homo sapiens indeed emerged in Ethiopia.”
The viewing of Lucy came prior to a State Dinner for Mr. Obama in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. “Lucy” is the common name for pieces of fossilized bone representing 40 percent of a female Australopithecus afarensis, discovered in 1974 by American anthropologist Donald Johanson in Ethiopia’s Afar region.
Scientists estimate that Lucy lived about 3.2 million years ago.