Any of several extinct humanlike primates of the genus Australopithecus and closely related genera such as Ardipithecus and Paranthropus.

[From New Latin Austrālopithēcus, genus name.]

aus′tra·lo·pith′ adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Lee-Thorp, "Enamel diagenesis at South African Australopith sites: implications for paleoecological reconstruction with trace elements," Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, vol.
They discovered australopith faces and jaws were strongest in the areas most likely to receive a punch.
Churchill et al., "Australopithecus sediba: a new species of homo-like australopith from South Africa," Science, vol.
Berger L R, De Ruiter D J, Churchill S E, Schmid P, Carlson K J, Dirks P H G M, Kibii J M, 2010, "Australopithecus sediba: a new species of Homo-like Australopith from South Africa" Science 328 195-204
The rise of the hominids as an adaptive shift in fallback foods: Plant underground storage organs (USOs) and australopith origins.
Smaller-jawed australopith ecines turn up mainly in conjunction with the monkeys and other forest animals, Behrensmeyer notes.
Washington, June 10 ( ANI ): Researchers have claimed that human faces -especially those of our australopith ancestors - evolved to minimize injury from punches to the face during fights between males.
The fossils included an australopith's little brain (with some curiously modern features), apelike shoulders, and arms adapted to climbing in trees-attached to a bizarrely modern hand with the precision grip of a toolmaker.
Researchers suggest that this finding underscores the diversity, variability, and flexibility in habitats and adaptive strategies these australopiths used to obtain food, avoid predators, and raise their offspring.
The similarities to Australopithecus are especially intriguing when one ponders for a moment on just who the australopiths actually were.
Anthropologists from the University of Kent, working with researchers from University College London, the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig (Germany) and the Vienna University of Technology (Austria), have produced the first research findings to support archaeological evidence for stone tool use among fossil australopiths 3-2 million years ago.