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 (ôs′trə-lō-pĭth′ĭ-kəs, ô-strā′lō-)
A genus of extinct hominins known from Pliocene and early Pleistocene fossil remains found in Africa, characterized by relatively small brain size and evidence of bipedalism. Several species are known, including A. afarensis, dating from four to three million years ago, of which Lucy is the best-known specimen.

[New Latin Austrālopithēcus, genus name : Latin austrālis, southern (because fossil remains of the genus were first found in South Africa); see austral + Greek pithēkos, ape (of unknown origin).]


(ɔˌstreɪ loʊˈpɪθ ɪ kəs, -pəˈθi kəs, ˌɔ strə-)

a genus of small-brained, large-toothed bipedal hominids that lived in Africa between one and four million years ago.
[< New Latin (1905) =austral(is) austral1 + -o- -o- + pithēcus < Greek píthēkos ape]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Australopithecus - extinct genus of African hominidAustralopithecus - extinct genus of African hominid  
mammal genus - a genus of mammals
family Hominidae, Hominidae - modern man and extinct immediate ancestors of man
australopithecine - any of several extinct humanlike bipedal primates with relatively small brains of the genus Australopithecus; from 1 to 4 million years ago
Australopithecus afarensis - fossils found in Ethiopia; from 3.5 to 4 million years ago
Lucy - incomplete skeleton of female found in eastern Ethiopia in 1974
Australopithecus africanus - gracile hominid of southern Africa; from about 3 million years ago
Australopithecus boisei - large-toothed hominid of eastern Africa; from 1 to 2 million years ago
Australopithecus robustus - large-toothed hominid of southern Africa; from 1.5 to 2 million years ago; formerly Paranthropus