Australopithecus


Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to Australopithecus: Australopithecus africanus

Aus·tra·lo·pith·e·cus

 (ôs′trə-lō-pĭth′ĭ-kəs, ô-strā′lō-)
n.
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).]

Aus•tra•lo•pith•e•cus

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

n.
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
References in periodicals archive ?
In contrast, infants of Paranthropus robustus, that became extinct around one million years ago and were a more robust species in terms of dental anatomy, as well as infants of Australopithecus africanus, stopped drinking sizeable proportions of mother milk in the course of the first months of life.
Prof Haile-Selassie says the specimen is the best example yet of the ape-like human ancestor called Australopithecus anamensis - the oldest known australopithecine whose kind may have existed as far back as 4.2 million years ago.
The skull, probably a male's, is from a species called Australopithecus anamensis, as Haile-Selassie and his colleagues report in a pair of papers published Wednesday in the journal Nature.
It sheds new light on what Australopithecus anamensis, a species widely accepted to have been the ancestor of Australopithecus afarensis, represented by the famous Lucy fossil - looked like.
The earliest members of the hominin genus Australopithecus have remained poorly understood, because of the near absence of cranial remains older than 3.5 million years.
And Lucy, the famous Australopithecus afarensis, was discovered in Ethiopia in 1974 and is 3.2 million years old.
Johanson in Hadar, Ethiopia,A the 3.2 million-year-old ape was the first Australopithecus afarensis skeleton ever found.
Summary: TEHRAN (FNA)- Researchers have discovered a remarkably complete 3.8-million-year-old cranium of Australopithecus anamensis at Woranso-Mille in Ethiopia.
Breastfeeding Analysis of more than two-million-year-old teeth from Australopithecus africanus fossils found in South Africa have revealed that infants were breastfed continuously from birth to about one year of age.
The similarities to Australopithecus are especially intriguing when one ponders for a moment on just who the australopiths actually were.
AUSTRALOPITHECUS AFARENSISLast year, an early human species classified as Australopithecus Afarensis and dating close to 3.5 million years was discovered near Ngong Hills on the outskirts of Nairobi, the first such site in the highlands.
The main robust species, Australopithecus aethiopicus, A.