australopithecines

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australopithecines Literally, ‘southern apes’, early members of the human lineage that lived from about 4 to about 1 million years ago in Africa. The so-called ‘robust australopithecines’ are nowadays placed in a separate genus, Paranthropus. The other (‘gracile’) australopithecines are also a very diverse group of species, some very primitive and perhaps ancestral to all later hominids, others probably specialized sidelines. The species usually recognized are Australopithecus anamensis (3.9–4.1 million years BP) and A. afarensis (3.75–3.0 million years BP) from E. Africa, A. bahrelghazali (about 3.4–3.0 million years BP) from W. Africa, and A. africanus (about 3.0–2.4 million years BP) from S. Africa. Probably some of these species should be placed in different genera.

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australopithecines Literally, ‘southern apes’, early members of the human lineage that lived from about 4 to about 1 million years ago in Africa. The so-called ‘robust australopithecines’ are nowadays placed in a separate genus, Paranthropus. The other (‘gracile’) australopithecines are also a very diverse group of species, some very primitive and perhaps ancestral to all later hominins, others probably specialized sidelines. The species usually recognized are Australopithecus anamensis (3.9–4.1 million years BP) and A. afarensis (3.75–3.0 million years BP) from East Africa, A. bahrelghazali (about 3.4–3.0 million years BP) from West Africa, and A. africanus (about 3.0–2.4 million years BP) from South Africa. Probably some of these species should be placed in different genera.