CLEVELAND - You've never seen "Lucy" like this before.
Look into the eyes of this fully fleshed out Australopithecus afarensis, which reveals muscular structure and facial features. She is in a striding position - as though several million years ago were yesterday.
This new reconstruction, right alongside the skeletal version, is the centerpiece of the just unveiled Human Origins Gallery at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
It is fitting that "The Lucys" take center stage. The original Lucy fossil was discovered in Ethiopia in 1974 by Dr. Donald Johanson, a former curator at the museum.
"We are thrilled to unveil this dynamic and engaging exhibition that highlights major discoveries and ongoing research into human origins," said Dr. Evalyn Gates, executive director and CEO of CMNH.
She added the gallery showcases the latest science, historically significant fossils and recent discoveries that have added to the knowledge of human origins.
The gallery features more than 40 specimens. Among the most notable is a cast of "Kadanuumuu", one of Lucy's species recently discovered and still under active research.
The development of the Human Origins Gallery was guided by Dr. Yohannes Haile-Selassie, curator of physical anthropology. It will be a permanent exhibit and serves as a glimpse into the museum's transformation project, scheduled to begin in 2015.
Admission to the new gallery is free with admission to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. More information on hours and exhibits can be found here: http://www.cmnh.org