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(sometimes initial capital letter) a member of the extinct genus Australopithecus.
of, relating to, or resembling the genus Australopithecus or its members.
any of various extinct apelike primates of the genus Australopithecus and related genera, remains of which have been discovered in southern and E Africa. Some species are estimated to be over 4.5 million years old See also zinjanthropus
of or relating to any of these primates
Any of several early hominids of the genus Australopithecus of eastern and southern Africa, known from fossils dating from about 4 million to about 1 million years ago. The most complete australopithecine skeleton found so far, named Lucy by its discoverers, is estimated to be just over 3 million years old. While many scientists believe that australopithecines are ancestors of modern humans, not enough fossils have yet been found to establish any direct descent.


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  • Australopithecus

    an extinct genus of small-brained,large-toothed bipedal hominids that lived in Africa between one and four million years ago. n. 1925, coined by Australian anthropologist Raymond A. Dart (1893-1988) from Latin australis “southern” (see Australia) + Greek pithekos “ape.” So called because first discovered in South Africa. Australopithecus [(aw-stray-loh-pith-i-kuhs, aw-stray-loh-pi-thee-kuhs)] An extinct genus of the hominid […]

  • Australopithecus afarensis

    an extinct species of early hominid whose fossil remains were discovered in Ethiopia and have been dated at between 3.5 and 4 million years of age. a fossil belonging to this species.

  • Australopithecus africanus

    an extinct species of gracile hominid, formerly known as Plesianthropus transvaalensis, that lived in southern Africa about three million years ago. a fossil belonging to this species.

  • Australopithecus boisei

    an extinct species of very rugged, large-toothed bipedal hominid, formerly known as Zinjanthropus boisei, that lived in eastern Africa one to two million years ago. a fossil belonging to this species.

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